Child Care and Children's Programs

Preparing yourself

As a parent leaving your child, you will experience a wide range of emotions and feelings.  You may feel guilty because you feel you are abandoning your child. You may feel anxious about whether you will find good, quality care, and whether your child's emotional life will be damaged by his/her involvement in child care outside the home. You will have to adjust to being away from your child for long periods of time, and you will find yourself missing your child's company.

If you explore all your child-care options, chances are reasonably good that you will find a suitable arrangement for your child. Good, quality care ensures that a child is in a safe environment with a loving person.

Instead of viewing child care as an abandonment of your child, you should see it as a potential expansion and enrichment of your child's life. It may be another adult to love the child or an occasion for contact with other children. If you have to work, child care is a reality for you and your child. Your task is to choose care wisely. Child care does not mean second-best care.

There has been no conclusive evidence in all the research that has been done that good, quality care damages the social and emotional development of children. Almost always, the family is the strongest influence in a child's life. As a parent, you have the responsibility to choose good, quality care that is stable. Too many abrupt changes in anyone's life are not healthy.

There is very little that can be done about missing your child's company. (The child will miss you too!) Many working parents make sure that they spend as much time as possible with their child(ren) when they are not working. Some people work part-time, and some parents work different shifts, so that the time the child spends in care is reduced. Such arrangements are not options for the majority of people. 

When making child-care arrangements, be sure to find a way to deal with your own feelings by talking to someone. Staff who run child-care registries can help.