Child Care, Pre-Child?

Many prospective parents wonder: Should we start finding child care after our child comes home, or before? Readers weigh in.

Question marks, representing the questions parents have regarding finding child care before adopting

Should you arrange for day care during the wait, or after your child is home? Readers weigh in. Your cyber-feedback was filled with great stories and advice for parents-to-be.

Kickabout, via AFC, wrote: While waiting, what do we do about the child-care hunt? Two-year waiting lists are not uncommon in our area. Since our wait time is unknown, do we use our time “advantage” and fill out applications, then risk losing our spot if a day-care center calls before we have a child — or do we scramble to find a good place when the need arises? Is anyone else facing the same situation?

Explore Your Options — Early

“We signed up on several waiting lists at child-care centers almost a year before we brought our son home. A slot opened up just days before my wife was scheduled to go back to work! My advice: Get on as many lists as possible ASAP, and decide on one when the time comes.” —Jeff Yeast, via Facebook

“My wife and I toured a child-development center close to her workplace. As waiting parents, we couldn’t answer many of the questions we were asked. We didn’t know if we were having a boy or a girl, an infant or an older child, or when we would need to set up care. But we found that this isn’t unusual. In our son’s last class, three of the 12 kids were adopted. The center understood our predicament, and made an effort to accommodate us.” —Matt Jillings, via AdoptiveFamiliesCircle

What to Look For

“When you visit centers, ask the staff if they have experience with adopted kids, and if they’ve run into any challenges as a result. Know that the questions you’ll ask aren’t really adoption-specific. All kids need good care. To me, the main thing is to ask for references. Then rely on your gut feelings. We applied to several centers and were able to negotiate a partial refund of the registration fees when we decided on a home-based, family day care.” —over40mom, via AdoptiveFamiliesCircle

Be Willing to Reconsider

“I chose a day care before our son came home, but after I visited him, I changed my mind. I think it just has to feel ‘right’ and, once I knew him, my choice was different. I suggest that you get on a couple of lists, then visit after your child comes home.” —Lynn Rafferty Wilson, via Facebook

Better to Hold Back

“We waited for our child to be in our arms before we did anything. We wanted to know for sure that we were parents before starting that process. Although waiting worked best for us, every family has to make the choice that works for them.” —Laura Besseyre Boudon, via Facebook

“I recommend waiting. It was helpful to meet our son and learn about his needs and character before making decisions about child care or preschool.” —Linda Konner, via Facebook

Consider Family Day Care

“It’s worth touring centers and getting to know what resources are available to you. With that said, I much prefer home day cares. Our current provider is skilled in child development, limits the number of kids she takes, and runs a preschool program. My children have benefited from having a consistent caregiver and, as a parent, I know what is going on during the day. The cost of family day care is typically lower, as well.” —greenmomma, via AdoptiveFamiliesCircle

Tell us what you’re thinking!

Weigh in on making an informed child-care decision and other topics by joining your fellow readers in AF‘s online community. We love reading your tweets, Facebook posts, and other Web chatter!

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