If you are planning to return to work after having the baby, finding good child care will be a top priority for you and your partner. Give yourself some time to figure out which option is best for your family. You may want to arrange child care during the final weeks before the baby arrives. Ask around for child care recommendations.
There are three basic child care options: care in your home, care in a caregiver’s home, or care in a child care center. If you want to hire someone to care for your baby in your home (such as a nanny or au pair), contact agencies that focus on child care placements. This type of care can be very costly. To cut costs, some parents share a caregiver with another family. The caregiver in these “share-care” setups is paid to watch two babies in one family’s home.
A less-costly option is having a relative or a licensed provider care for your baby in their home. In most cases, these caregivers watch more than one child. Child care centers are another option. This type of setting may take care of many groups of children of all different ages. Some accept babies as young as six weeks, and some do not take infants until they are out of diapers, so be sure to ask questions while you’re doing your research.