Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Who to Call When You Have Childcare Concerns

As a working parent, each detail needs to run smoothly. Childcare is one of the most important parts that must work properly, as it involves the small people dearest to you. What should you do if you find yourself in a situation where you must use childcare, but you have problems with your provider? Here are some ideas on where to turn when childcare goes wrong:

        Assess the Problem- What kind of trouble are you having with your childcare provider? Depending on the severity of your complaint, you will want to pursue different avenues with your concerns.  If your concern is with small details and you have a good relationship with your provider, then you may be able to speak with them directly. If it is something that is not easily confronted face to face and requires accountability on the part of the childcare provider, you may need to contact whoever is in charge of regulating day homes or daycares in your area. If the issue is of a criminal nature, you will need to contact the police.

Figure Out Who Is Directly in Charge- This will depend on what type of childcare you are using. If your child is in a public daycare, it should be fairly straightforward as to whom to contact about childcare issues. There should be someone in charge of each daycare who you can speak to about employees. If it is the manager you have an issue with, then take it to whoever is in charge of the group of daycares, if this applies.  If you are using a day home in someone’s private residence, it will be a different matter. Depending on where you live, there might even be different kinds of day homes. In some areas, there are both registered and unregistered day homes. Registered day homes will have a governing authority in charge of them who can receive complaints about individual day homes. Your day home might also be part of an agency you went through originally, in which case you can report the matter directly to them.  Private day homes are a trickier situation, as it is often a lone individual who both owns and works at the day home. If the matter is serious, report it to the police. If the matter is an interpersonal conflict, or a disagreement on how to run the home, you should approach the person you are having trouble with. If this approach does not work, you may be forced to find a new childcare location for your child.

      Word of Mouth- One of the most powerful marketing tools in today’s world is word of mouth, which includes the internet. If you are dealing with a deceptive or troublesome childcare provider and no one is able to solve the problem, use word of mouth to warn others not to get involved. There may be local online parenting groups where you can voice your complaints that will get the word out to others as a warning.

Childcare is a very important facet of life that can have a huge impact on the health and well being of your family. If you are having trouble with your provider, try to resolve the issue immediately in order to gain peace of mind. Know where to go with your concerns so that things can get back on track and you can continue your productive life of work and family.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Finding Childcare Especially When Your Schedule Varies

As a working parent, one of your greatest needs is likely finding reliable childcare. Your childcare situation can make or break your working experience, give you peace when things are working well and turmoil when they aren’t. What happens when you do not have a job with reliable hours? How can you find good childcare despite your work situation? Choosing the right childcare option for your family can be an overwhelming process. Here are some tips to make this process easier:

·         Check Several Daycares- Did your conversation with a potential daycare get shut down immediately when you mentioned your crazy work schedule? Keep looking around. Some daycares are beginning to offer a little more flexibility than they once did. When researching daycare centers in your area, keep in mind that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends a child to staff ratio of 3:1 for overall infant care. For children ages 3-5, the AAP recommends a child to staff ratio of 8:1.

·         Drop-In Childcare-This is an option that is becoming more available. Drop-in childcare centers give you flexibility in your work schedule, as they are often open beyond regular daycare hours. They don’t always require much notice, so they can be a good option when you don’t know your hours too far in advance.

·         Private Childcare- Private childcare, or day homes, can be much more flexible than daycares. Because it is run out of someone’s home, there is more leeway when it comes to the rules and hours. Speak to the day home owner and negotiate options for hours and payment.

·         Friends and Family- Talk to your parents, other family members and friends and see if they might be willing to help watch your children. This option will give you the peace of mind that your children are in a home with people who already love them.  It will also make the transition easier for your children. For example, if you work a night shift and your children go to stay at their grandma’s house, they will feel like they are simply having a sleepover. This eases the potential stress for both you and your children.

·         Combination- In your situation, a combination of childcare options may be the answer that is right for you. Maybe you can use a drop-in childcare center during the daytime and evening, and rely on friends and family to care for your children at night.

·         Keep Your Ears Open- If you work in a place where fellow employees are dealing with uncertain hours, you may be able to get tips from co-workers. Ask them how they are dealing with their childcare situations. See if there are any local options for childcare that works around varying schedules. Find out about private day homes that others might be using. A day home provider might be more willing to consider odd hours if there is more than one family utilizing those hours.

Working around a varied work schedule is not easy when you are a parent, but it is not impossible. There are many things to consider, and you will want to look around and explore your options. While your work schedule requires you to find a childcare option that provides flexibility and doesn’t break the bank, the most important points to consider are if your child will be safe, happy and well cared for at this childcare setting. Do your part to research the options available to you, and you will find the right fit.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

5 Simple Stress-Busting Tips for Working Parents by Working Parents

Being a working parent is a special responsibility that is shared by millions of individuals around the globe. It can be highly stressful, but is made easier by the fact that many working parents are willing to share from their experiences. If you are a parent who is new to the world of holding down a full-time job while parenting, you will be able to glean some wise advice and great tips from all the others who have gone before you.

Set a Specific Time for Each Activity- We all know the feeling of making a list of all we need to do in the day, and then finding ourselves at the end of the day having accomplished almost nothing. If you want to complete your tasks with a minimal amount of wasted time, a great way is to set a specific amount of time for each task on your list.
Make a list of everything you need to do each day. For example, as your day progresses, set the timer for 30 minutes of homework help with each child, 20 minutes of kitchen clean-up after supper, 10 minutes of reading before bedtime, and 45 minutes of work that found itself coming home from the office with you. Be strict with each task as any of them can easily overtake your entire day or evening if left unregulated.

Use a Central Calendar- You will begin to grow confused if you try to keep work and parenting matters on separate calendars. Because all of your life activities cannot help but overlap at some point, stop confusion in its tracks by keeping one main calendar for everything. This can be either a scheduling app on your smartphone or a hard copy calendar if you prefer that, but stick to one and keep things simple.

Ask Your Boss for Job Flexibility- Nowadays, there are many parents working and this has led to more options for those who do. Working parents often have the flexibility to work from home, at least part time. There are other options such as job sharing and working flexible hours. The key is in asking, because if you never approach your boss about the situation, he or she will never know what you were hoping for.

Accept the Help of Others- Parenting is a balancing act regardless of whether you work outside the home or not. As working parents, however, you face challenges that deem it necessary to involve your personal community in the upbringing of your children. Be willing to put aside your pride and accept offers for things such as rides and childcare for your kids. This can free up your time and resources so that it is not as tough to balance all your responsibilities.

Have a Childcare Backup Plan- Although you may be organized and reliable, you cannot always expect perfection from others. There may be times when your childcare provider is unable to keep your child on a particular day, for whatever reason. Be ready for these circumstances by having at least one backup plan, and preferably more than one in place for any unexpected changes.

Being a successful working parent means being prepared to face the many curve-balls that life is sure to throw your way. Be prepared for any unexpected situation and you will be one step ahead of the game. Take into account these tips from working parents, and your children and job will be well looked after.