Guest Post Writer: Elena Stewart
When you want to run your own business but you also have children, there is a fine line you have to walk. But, fortunately, there are many ways that you can balance being a mom or dad and an entrepreneur. Finding the right child care provider is one of these. Keep reading for insight on why your selection matters, how to narrow down your top options, and business tips that will help you manage both your parenting priorities and your professional pressures.
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Why Child Care Matters
Sure, we all know that one woman (or man) that works from home while fixing bottles and ushering school-aged children through the car rider line each afternoon. What we don’t see is their late nights, early mornings, and absolute need for coffee and self-care, although the latter of these is often overlooked. As a parent, it’s okay to want more. And it’s also okay to pull people into your life – and the lives of your children – that can help make that happen. When you have adults in your children’s lives that you know will care for them and love them the way that you do, you can focus on your family’s financial present and future. Furthermore, there are many reasons to consider letting your little one spread their wings and fly before kindergarten.
Working Mother smartly points out nearly a dozen positives of having your child in an outside
care environment. These include:
● Potential lower risk of cancer. Children who are exposed to a variety of germs early on may enjoy up to a 30% lower risk of experiencing immune system malfunctions, such a leukemia, the most common form of cancer in children under five years of age.
● Daycare may spur work ethic in little ones. Some research studies have found that adults who went to a great childcare center as children were typically more gainfully employed than those that did not.
● Daycare can reduce school-aged illnesses. From a working-parent standpoint, this may be the best benefit of all. Going to daycare can reduce the number of missed days in school later down the road. This means fewer days taken off, which can result in more quality family time since you’re not scrambling to play catch-up.
● You’ll have more time to concentrate. When you’re starting a business, there are many things that you need help with and lots of others that you have to research on your own. One example is creating your business structure. When you want to form an LLC, for example, you’ll need to investigate local guidelines. This can help you save money on attorney fees because you can do it yourself. You’ll also have the time and emotional resources to devote to finding someone to assist with marketing and sales.
Choosing The Right Provider
Knowing that childcare is a valuable asset is only half the battle. Next is finding a provider that you feel comfortable leaving your little one with. If the idea of letting go of the life you created makes you queasy, here are some things to think about as you evaluate the type of environment your son or daughter may spend eight hours – or more – in each day.
First, you should know that there are two different types of daycare facility: group and in-home. There are benefits and negatives to each and also lots of differences between them. A group setting offers the most options for socialization. But, if your child is still an infant, a home setting will be less crowded and there’ll be a smaller chance of them experiencing a sensory overload. Flexibility is another key concern, and as Little Lukes Preschool and Childcare Center explains, a home-based daycare provider may be able to offer more flexibility. This is crucial if your work
schedule isn’t really a schedule at all.
Before you make a selection, you may also want to consider cost. A structured organization that offers multiple caregivers, field trips, access to activities, and security may cost more than a home daycare (and likely much more than a stay-at-home parent that simply wants to earn some extra money by watching other people’s children).
If possible, plan to start your childcare search at least two months before you need it. And then,
follow these steps:
● Research. Your research efforts should begin by asking friends and family for recommendations. Talk to other parents in your area as well, even if it means reaching out to local moms and dads via social media parenting groups.
● Interview. Once you get a handful of potential places, reach out via telephone and
schedule a time to come by for a visit. During your on-site tour, ask lots of questions. Babylist explains that these should be geared toward general childcare (philosophy, activities, discipline), daycare policies (immunization requirements, potty training tuition), employees (certifications, turnover ratio, emergency providers), and safety (communication, security, licensing and accreditation).
● Pay a surprise visit. If your initial visit was pleasant and you feel good about taking the next step, drop by unannounced. Do, however, ask for the childcare center director upon arrival and explain to them the purpose of popping in if they were not the one that you met with on your previous visit.
● Ask for references. Finally, when you think you’ve made a decision, ask for references from current and, perhaps most importantly, previous families. The reason to ask for families that are no longer utilizing the daycare service is to find out why they left. Chances are, their child simply aged out of the program. Don’t be shy about asking about the positives and negatives, and if anything comes up that you are uncomfortable with, discuss these issues with the daycare’s director to get their side of the story.
We all want to be home with our children. But, we also want them to have more opportunities than we ever did. Going into business for yourself is an excellent compromise. When you’re the boss, you make the rules, and you can take a day here and there when you want. But, because you can’t play hooky every day, having a reliable daycare provider in your corner means that you know your child is loved and cared for even when your attention is elsewhere.
About the Guest Blogger-
“Elena Stewart is a certified life coach who specializes in the teachings of Brené Brown, Danielle LaPorte, and Marie Forleo. She successfully transitioned from the corporate world to running her own business, and she now helps others achieve their career goals and dreams.”
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