Paternity/Maternity Leave is Over – Now It’s Time for Daycare
For most parents, both gay and straight, there comes the time when paternity or maternity leave is over – and it’s time to go back to work. If you’re gay parents to a child born through surrogacy, this may come sooner than expected if your company isn’t willing to give you full paid paternity/maternity leave. This means it’s time to find daycare for your little one.
Daycare or Nanny?
If you’re going back to work when your child is still under the age of 1 year, depending where you live, daycare can be hard to find. Many daycare centers have waitlist for babies as the ratios are much smaller, child to adult. Babies under the age of 12 months still need a lot of one-on-one time with their caregiver. If your baby is less than one year old, a nanny might be another option for your entire family. A nanny allows your child to stay in-home, getting the full-time attention needed in these early months.
Ask for Daycare Recommendations
The early years are an important time in your baby’s life. You want to place your child in care that meets all your requirements of high-quality daycare. A great place to start is by asking family, friends, and other gay and straight parents for their recommendations.
Interviewing Daycare Options
Contact accredited childcare centers in the area where you live for a list of daycares that have openings. Then make appointments for a drop-in visit and have a list of questions ready. Do a policy check to find out how warm and responsive caregivers are to babies and younger children. Is there a lot of one-on-one time? How do they deal with fussy babies and naps? These are just some of the questions you should be asking.
Another option to nannies and daycare centers is home childcare. There are many state licensed home daycares that are operated in someone’s home. This can be a good option for gay parents of younger children who aren’t ready to put their baby into a larger daycare setting.
Trust Your Instinct
Listen to what your gut is telling you. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t question it. Keep searching for the right nanny, daycare, or homecare that makes you feel confident that you’ve made the best choice. Your baby deserves the best nurturing care and as parents, you’re the only ones who can decide what that best should be.
Be Open to Making Changes
Remember that nothing is set in stone. If things aren’t working out in the childcare situation you first chose, it’s your right and responsibility to your child to make a change. No matter what hours you and your partner work, you’re still the primary caregivers and the most important source of love and support in your baby’s life.
You waited a long time to start your family using the surrogacy process. Whether you’re looking for a nanny or daycare, take the time to find exactly what you’re looking for in childcare. Take into consideration the needs and personality of your child – what works for one child may not work for another.