Choosing a Caregiver after Maternity Leave

For moms returning to work after maternity leave, nothing is more distressing then finding someone who will care for your baby with the same love and attention as you have in the prior months.There are so many public, private and home based child care options available the decision is dizzying.  The questions below are there to help you think through you and your partner’s combined value system.  Know that there are providers out there who will satisfy your comfort level.  It will be easier to select daycares to visit and interview, if you and your partner both know what are the absolute requirements, and what are the nice-to-haves.  For today, we’ll just tackle the safety questions.


  1. Is the caregiver currently certified in First Aid and Infant/Child CPR?  These are skills that unless maintained regularly, will easily be forgotten.
  2. Does she have a recent police background check?  If this is a home based daycare, does any other family member (husband/grown children) work from home and have regular exposure to the children?
  3. Do you want your child to be comfortable around animals and know how to interact with them?  Studies show that children exposed to pets and germs early on in life have less likelihood of developing allergies.  Is there any pet animal that has the physical potential to cause harm?  Even the best natured golden retriever has its limit to children’s rough housing.  Are the animals kept in separate areas of the daycare?
  4. Does your caregiver drive children to various outings?  Are you comfortable with someone else driving your child?  Are the child seat properly installed every time (if you are transferring seats from your car to the daycare van?
  5. Does the day care have older children?  If yes, are their toys kept safely from your infant/toddler to avoid choking hazard?
  6. For larger institutions, are there locks on all the entrances?  Is there someone manning the doors or do parents just help themselves in with padlock combinations/keys?

Next week, we’ll look into choosing daycare based on the health & well being of your child.

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