Editor's Note: Aili shares why choosing child care near home ended up being the best decision for her family:
I had little doubt whether or not I would be going back to work after the birth of my son. I love my career, enjoy being a part of the workforce, contributing to the home, and using my brain in new and different ways each day.
Choosing a child care option that worked for our family’s busy schedule was important to my husband and me. We are both out of the house almost 12 hours a day between our commutes and working hours. Finding care for our son that gave us the flexibility we needed as a dual working parent home was top of our list.
Choosing Child Care Near Home: The Factors that Went Into Our Decision
We quickly limited our search to child care centers near us, as my husband works locally. I also have a long commute in crazy Boston traffic and we didn’t want our child to have to be in the car for any extended period of time (which worked out for me, as I find my commuting time is the “me time" of my day). The operating hours of the center we selected were also a major factor in making our decision. Having an extended day option was a necessity to us, as we needed the early morning drop-off availability for my husband’s schedule and the later pick-up time availability to give me wiggle room for when the traffic is worse than normal.
The child care center we ended up choosing worked with our busy lives and gave us the peace of mind that our child was well taken care of, loved, and in an environment of learning, with preschool curriculum options. What we didn’t know when we made our final selection was how this would translate into our own feelings of being supported as new parents. The open lines of communication between his teachers and the center staff, the parenting resources offered, and the family events (really I could go on) all gave and still give, us a support system we didn’t expect. It can be difficult as a working parent to find time to do “everything”, but for us the best child care center offers many of these “everythings,” which is a huge time saver and convenience in my book.
What I have found is that the idea of convenience does look different to everyone depending on their family structure, work pattern, and living situation. I encourage you to sit down and figure out what the best child care options look like for your schedule. Be sure to keep the following in mind:
- Food/Meal Offerings