There are several full-time care options for working parents; there are day care centers that offer full-day care options which are both DCFS (www.DCFS.illinois.gov.) and NAEYC (www.naeyc.org.) accredited, there are day care homes, which should also be DCFS accredited, and for those parents who wish there is the option of a full-time Nanny, who comes into your home, and takes care of not only your children, but your home as well!
There are advantages and disadvantages to any of these options, a day care center has school closings, and can send your child home, if they come to school sick, on the other hand, especially if they are NAEYC certified, the teachers there are special trained in Early Childhood Education, and Care. A Day Care home, also closes as needed for holidays and vacation time, and can also refuse sick care, but offers a less expensive option, for a home-like setting, with hot meals, and a loving and nurturing environment.
A Full-Time Nanny, comes into your home, regardless of whether or not it’s a school day, will offer a more flexible schedule, often working evenings and weekends as required, and will take care of your children regardless of their health issues, and often takes care of; laundry, meal preparation, household tasks, driving children to a variety of developmentally appropriate activities, and sets the schedule to your child (children’s) needs. The disadvantage of hiring a Nanny is that it is more costly, and a person (that is not a relative) is coming into your home, and taking care of not only your children, but everything that you hold most dear!
While you are considering a perfect care situation for your Family, think about your options, if it appears that hiring a full-time Nanny is the best option for you, here are some things to consider while going through the hiring process; are you willing to pay the going rate? In the Chicago area, the going rate is approximately $15 per hour worked. Are you willing to pay your Nanny a salary, while withholding taxes? If your Nanny, refuses to have taxes withheld, you want to find out why-is he/she legal to work in the United States? Do you feel comfortable checking past references? If you feel uncomfortable calling previous employers based on a pre-conceived notion of them, really re-consider hiring this person. Your Nanny reflects you and your Family, and who they are, and what their personal values are will become a part of who your children are and also what your children value. If you are a conservative staunch Republican who does not believe in “OBAMACARE”, and does not give to charity because you make too much money to utilize giving as a tax write-off, do not hire a Nanny who is a staunch Democrat, who even though they make a meager living, is in a constant mode of giving to charitable causes, you will not see eye-to-eye, and it will be difficult to trust that your Nanny is making the best decisions for your household.
Trust is imperative in this relationship of care, and without it nobody will be happy and the care process will not be productive! So if you have weighed your options, and still feel that a full-time Nanny is the best option for your Family, here is a little tried and true advice; know that they will need to eat, especially if they are working a full-day, they may eat your food, or they may opt to bring their own, but you need to be comfortable with the knowledge that they will be utilizing your kitchen, they may be going through your cupboards, refrigerator, etc. and again, if you trust your Nanny, you trust that they can handle this task easily, A little kindness goes a long way, an occasional bouquet of flowers, a nice book, a Starbucks gift-card, is so greatly appreciated, it’s a nice way of letting them know how much you appreciate everything they do, and the kindness will be returned, and worth your extra effort, You want your Nanny to feel as if they are part of your Family, and having them comfortable in your home, will allow them to provide a loving and nurturing experience for your children which will last long beyond the years of care!