Infant Child Care

The decision to return to work is never an easy one, especially when the child is still an infant. There is so much to be considered. After all, infant care is very different from what you'd expect in toddler or preschool care, and well it should be. As any parent knows, babies have many more needs.

So what should parents look for when selecting infant care?

    * A caregiver who is loving, warm, and who openly demonstrates affection through cuddling, touching and playing with a child. She also holds the baby during feedings.
    * A setting that in which there are no more than 3 infants to one adult and a group setting of no more than six children. In home daycare there should be no more than two children under that age of two.
    * An environment that is safe, clean, bright, cheerful, and has plenty of space for a child to crawl, roll, and explore his world. The infant area should be segregated from the toddler or preschool area in center-based care. Diapering areas should be away from any eating or playing areas. And, there should be a good assortment of learning materials geared to the ever-evolving infant.
    * A schedule that is based on each baby's own schedule for eating, playing and napping. Rigid or fixed schedules are not good for infant care.
    * A communication system that lets you know how your baby slept, ate, and what type of bowel movement she had for the day and where the caregiver takes the time to talk with you each day about your baby.
    * Finally, you want a caregiver who will help you and your family adjust to the care by allowing your child to bring his own security blanket or toy to the facility, and will encourage you to come a little early or stay as long as you need to to feel comfortable separating from your child and vise versa.

From: Selecting Infant Care, by Catherine Pruissen.