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I am currently about to be employed and this sadly means I will need to some alternative way to look after my child. I have been thinking about child minders (one who either comes to my house or I let my child go to their house), but I do not know if they should be trusted with my precious child. He is only 9 months.

How can I decide whether a child minder is the best solution for child care?

  • Welcome to Parenting.SE! I have edited your question slightly so it is more objective instead of asking only for experiences, which will hopefully get you better answers. Good luck with your transition back to work! – Acire Jun 6 '15 at 11:12
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It seems you are looking for pro/con of different ways to take care of your baby while working. The 3 main solutions for infant care in the US (and many other places) are: A nanny (child minder who comes to your home), a home based day-care (your child goes to someone else's home where they have a couple of children to look after), a day care (child goes to a professional facility to be looked after).

Some pro and cons:

Nanny

Pros:

  • Your child is in you own home, and you know the environment.
  • Your child may be exposed to fewer germs.
  • Your child will be getting one on one time with an adult caregiver.
  • It might be easier to accommodate a special feeding or sleeping schedule.
  • You control which toys your child plays with.
  • You do not have to commute your child somewhere.
  • Depending on the deal and payment of the nanny, she might be able to help out with some household tasks.

Cons:

  • You have no 'double control' of the adult with your child (only one adult)
  • You need a backup plan to allow for vacation and sick time for your nanny.
  • Your child will miss out on social interactions.
  • Unless hired through an agency, you have to manage payment of an employee.
  • You have to background check the nanny.
  • You have to interview the nanny, and personally figure out what good skills are for a nanny (what training does she have, what will she teach the baby?)
  • It is hard to know what a nanny does with your child, and if she interacts with the child as promised (save of installing cameras all over, but you will want her to take the child outside too)
  • Potential high cost

Home based day-care (licensed)

Pros:

  • Low number of kids for one adult (ideally).
  • More personal care for your child.
  • Lower cost than a nanny
  • Social interaction for you child.

Cons:

  • Less 'one on one' time for the child
  • You have to transport your child
  • There may be children at a very wide age range
  • Care giver may or may not have educational background in taking care of kids
  • You are still hiring primarily a person, and not a service, so you have to interview carefully.

Day care

Pros:

  • Lots of social interaction, with kids of same age.
  • day care center takes care of employment issues
  • you have to only inquire about teaching/child care philosophy, and professionals make the judgement call (aka interview) if individual teachers fulfill it
  • Usually more than one adult at a time is around the children.
  • Many places video monitor classrooms.
  • Transition to going to a pre-school is less stressful.
  • May have a food program
  • Teachers usually have an education background in child care or childhood development.

Cons:

  • More children per teacher (though sometimes actually less than at a home day care)
  • More germs
  • You have to transport your child.
  • Can be less personal care for your child.
  • Special commendations (for instance for feeding, sleeping, use of cloth diapers) might not be able to be met.

I personally find the idea that I, personally, have to select and interview a single person daunting, which is why my children are in daycare. I find it easier to trust a group of people.

In all cases, the nanny/day care should be licensed, and you should inquire about this.

I hope the community can add to this list.

Other possible arrangements

  • having a family member take care of your children
  • working from home with a nanny there
  • becoming a stay at home mom
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    "Your child may be exposed to fewer germs." That can be considered a con. – bjb568 Jun 10 '15 at 18:12
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In several of the countries I've lived in, the government has created a certification system for child minders. If yours has too, you could narrow your search to those who are certified, and doing so could give you more confidence.

In addition, it is always a good idea to check references, and to observe the person in action.

The best day care experiences I had as a child, and each of my two children had when they were quite small, were in family day care, where the child goes to the child minder's house, and is part of a very small group of children (approximately 3).

However, the choice of mode of day care is a very personal matter, and what worked well for us might not match up with what is right for you and your baby.

Basis for my answer: personal experience

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