Child Care Resource Library
Hiring a private, in-home child care provider can be a great investment for many families, but it does require a significant amount of tedious work during the hiring process. After sifting through a number of resumes, conducting interviews and talking to references, parents usually aren’t eager to repeat the process unless absolutely necessary. High nanny turnover rates can also wreak havoc on a child’s routine, and it can be very upsetting for a child to lose a beloved caregiver. For parents who also happen to be nanny employers, the best course of action is to hold onto the high-quality private caregiver they’ve already hired in order to provide children with consistency and avoid household disruptions. The key to reducing nanny turnover, in many cases, is simply providing a good environment in which to work.
In single parent households with an employed parent or households in which both parents are employed outside of the home, child care costs can make up a significant portion of the monthly budget. For lower income families, expenses related to childcare can be prohibitive, but there are programs available which provide some financial assistance for child care fees to eligible families. The average cost of center-based care in the United States is $11,666 per year, but costs do vary from state to state. Depending upon the state in which a lower-income family resides, costs may range from a low of $3,582 to a high of $18.773. The higher end of this scale can make up the majority of a worker’s income if they’re employed full-time in a minimum wage position. For these families, the services of child care assistance programs on the local, state and federal level may be the only way of making such employment financially feasible.
Standalone preschool programs provide young children with essential early childhood education, but may only run for part of the day, which can present a problem for working parents who also need full-time childcare. When there’s more than one child in the family, even full-day preschool programs create the need for multiple stops if there are no daycare facilities for younger children. For many parents, a daycare which also features a preschool program can solve several problems at once, but it’s only truly effective if children are receiving the preschool attention they need in order to thrive. Choosing a daycare with a great preschool program is important, but doing so can be a complicated task for parents who aren’t sure what they should be looking for in a quality program.
Even with a strong sick-child policy in place and all the proper health precautions, children can and often do contract common illnesses in a childcare setting. Because childcare providers tend to spend so much time with the children under their care, having basic knowledge about these common conditions and the ability to spot them can be one of the more reliable methods of early detection. The earlier symptoms of an illness are recognized, the earlier a child can get treatment and be removed from a group childcare setting where he or she may pass the illness along to others.
The primary goal of any quality child care provider is to ensure a safe, healthy environment in which the best interests of enrolled children are protected. Good nutrition is an essential cornerstone of developmental health during early childhood, playing an important role in establishing good dietary habits while protecting fundamental health. Good nutrition aids in physical growth and development, ensures age-appropriate weight gain, supports healthy function of organs and aids in the development of a healthy immune system, so a concerted effort to adhere to basic nutritional guidelines is crucial for all child care providers. In addition to being a moral and ethical obligation, adhering to nutritional guidelines may also be a professional obligation for child care providers in most states.
While the relationship between a nanny and her employers is based largely on trust, it can be a complex one with ample room for dispute. One the most valuable pieces of protection for all involved parties against disagreements and misconduct is a thorough nanny contract, but it’s also one of the most often overlooked. Because nannies can come to feel more like extended family than employees, it’s not uncommon for nannies and their employers to forgo a written contract in favor of a less formal, more personal verbal agreement. Unfortunately, this is a decision which can have far-reaching, negative repercussions in the future. Before entering into a verbal employment agreement, here are ten of the reasons why nannies and employers alike should insist on a nanny contract.
While teething is a painful rite of passage for infants, it can also create a stressful environment for childcare providers. This especially holds true for those who aren’t allowed to administer over-the-counter medications, or choose not to assume the risk of medication for something as non-threatening as teething. Numbing agents like benzocaine are often used in commercial teething gels, and while they can eliminate infants’ discomfort, the numb sensation can easily spread to the rest of the mouth and throat. Throat numbness, in particular, can increase the chances of gagging and choking for small children, which is another reason childcare providers may want to eliminate these products from their medication stores.
Overcoming daycare separation anxiety can be a trying experience for both children and their parents, leading to tears and stress for everyone involved. Helping your child to manage fear of the unknown and separation from a parent isn’t impossible, and is a necessary step along the road of eventually becoming an independent, productive adult.
Childcare providers in group settings strive to teach children the importance of sharing, but one of the things most easily shared in such close quarters is head lice. Through play and socialization, including the sharing of brushes, hats and clothing, kids can quickly spread head lice throughout a group until it becomes a widespread problem. While it’s a common childhood ailment, there is a stigma associated with head lice which can be a bit damaging to a childcare provider’s reputation if an outbreak isn’t addressed appropriately. Learning the best methods of addressing head lice outbreaks, and preventing them in the first place, is crucial to the health of your business.
The last step in the hiring process is often checking a babysitter’s references, and it can be one of the most stressful for parents who aren’t accustomed to conducting interviews. Past employers and personal references can give you a more accurate view of a promising babysitter candidate, especially if you’re nervous about leaving a relative stranger alone with your children for an extended period of time.