WAHMs: When Should You Put Your Child in Daycare?
As a mom who has the privilege of keeping your baby with you while you work at home, at what point should you place your child in daycare? I am currently in the process of transitioning my toddler into a part-time daycare program, and would like to share with you tips on how and when to make this life-altering decision.
When Should You Place Your Child in Daycare?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. The answer depends on a variety of factors, and your unique circumstance. Some of these factors could include:
- Your household’s financial needs. Perhaps you need to devote extra time to your mompreneur business or your work at home job because your current household income level is barely enough to cover basic household needs, and you need extra cash to cover unexpected emergencies. Or perhaps you are anxious to build up your child’s education funds and your retirement account. Maybe you have an unexpected emergency need that requires a significant increase in income. Whatever your circumstance, if you are at a point where you need to free up as much uninterrupted daytime work as possible to bring in additional income, now is the time to explore daycare options for your child.
- You think your child is old enough to benefit from social interactions. You feel ever so fortunate to have seen every important milestone of your child – the first time she rolled over, the first time he crawled, the first time she walked, etc. You were also blessed to be present when your child uttered his or her first words. Plus you were lucky to have a flexible work at home schedule where you and your child could play together at the park or go to story time whenever you pleased. You might decide that now is the time for your child to broaden his or her social life. No matter how old your toddler is, if you think she or he needs a social life, now is the time to explore a variety of daycare options. You can still choose to continue your mompreneur business or work at home job with the added bonus of as much as 4 to 8 hours per day to get a lot accomplished.
- It is becoming increasingly hard to get meaningful work done during the day because your child needs more attention: Your mompreneur business or your work at home job might be at a place where you need to devote a significant amount of daytime hours. At the same time your child needs to be entertained, and you do not want him or her to sit for hours watching TV or a DVD. If that is the case, now is a good time to explore viable daycare options
- Full-time versus part-time daycare? The decision to go full time or part time is going to be based on how much time you want to spare to be apart from your child. You have all kinds of options: bartering with a friend for 2 hours per week, a 4 hour part time daycare program 2 or 3 times per week, 3 full time days, or an entirely full time daycare program. Aside from your household’s financial needs, the bottom line is your comfort level as to how much time you want for your child to be in a daycare program.
My child is almost three years old. I have successfully worked at home with her, designating blocks of time to spend with her, and blocks of time where I worked while she occupied herself with an activity. I now feel that my baby could benefit from social time interacting with other 3-year-olds. She needs to learn teamwork, how to share and cultivate social skills. Being at home with me is not going to cultivate those skills. Hence, I have decided to place her in a part-time daycare program 2-3 times per week.
Whatever decision you have arrived at, I wish you the best of luck. Stay tuned for my next post on how to pay for daycare.
READ MORE FROM IRENE:
- 5 Creative Ways to Pay for Child Care
- A Major Juggling Act: Balancing Work at Home with Young Children
- How I Stumbled My Way to Mompreneurship
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This post was syndicated with permission to BonBon Break Media, LLC.