One of the biggest decisions parents have to make after choosing to have a child is deciding who will care for the child. Parents choose to resolve this dilemma in many ways. As part of the process of determining how care will be provided they must look at financial, career, emotional, and development considerations. They must determine which of the four types of childcare is most appropriate for their family needs and then must examine the licensing standards in their state and whether a particular caregiver meets those requirements. They must research, locate, and select a childcare facility and then finally transition both their child and themselves into that care setting.
This is an emotional and trying time for parents, but through a process that involves examining their motives for providing care, thoroughly researching and selecting an appropriate caregiver, and maintaining healthy open communication with each other, the child, and the caregiver, they can be confident in their decision and know that they have provided the best possible setting for their child.
In addition to the resources listed throughout this article, the following websites may be helpful during the process of choosing childcare. Additional helpful web resources are listed in the "links" section of this Child Care topic center.