Single parenting always brings added concerns to the job of parenting. One of the first things you think about when you are a single parent by choice (divorce, unmarried) or natural circumstances (death of a spouse), is who will care for my child or children?
I have to admit, this is my personal favourite, even though we don't have one - yet!
Pros: You do not need to bundle up your kid at 6AM and leave him at day care. He does not need to catch the viral flu from other kids at day care and he can play in familiar surroundings and not have his bath or nap time disturbed. And, you can train one key person who will get to know your child and know how to deal with the ups and downs. It's also much easier on your child to develop a relationship with one person.
Cons: If the nanny is a rotten apple in the basket of loving child care providers, as a single parent, you don’t have any one keeping an eye on her. Unless your child is able enough to express any signs of abuse or neglect, you may want to thoroughly check references or invest in a spy cam or web cam whereby you can monitor the person monitoring your child. It may also be harder to find a caregiver willing to do the extra work involved in dealing with a special needs child.
Yes, day cares can be plagued with ill, cranky children, but many have strict rules of keeping sick children home. Regardless of whether you are a single parent or not, you have to be thorough about checking cleanliness, safety precautions and the atmosphere of day care centers because older premises can have problems of their own.
The advantages are that there is more than one caregiver, so there is a sense of security as compared to one nanny at home who could neglect a child. Yet, there may be a high turnover at the day care center, which may make it difficult for your child to adjust to a new person every so often.
On single parenting websites, one sees a lot swap child care with one another and work around their schedules so as to reduce or eliminate child care costs. Of course there are advantages with leaving your child with a familiar fiend or neighbor, but if she is running a home day care, and there are other kids in the picture, it is important she be licensed in your state, meet safety standards and have CPR certification. This also has the advantage of having a more stable caregiver that can develop a relationship with your child, and may also provide interaction with other kids as well.
If you are so lucky as to have grandma or some other close relative care for your child - that can be an ideal situation provided the caregiver is in good health and again knows some emergency protocol. They are also more likely to be wiling to learn the extra bits required in caring for your special need child.
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