Choosing childcare after maternity leave can be one of the most stressful things to think about as a new mom. Heck, even if you aren’t a new mom, the thought of leaving your child with somebody you don’t know is daunting. I too, have been there. If you’re pregnant and thinking about going back to work after maternity leave, you’ll want to go ahead and start to explore all your options.
Having your childcare situation nailed down before baby arrives is going to be best. That’ll allow you to meet everybody and tour every place before baby arrives. Also, most childcare options such as daycares or preschools fill up quick. You’ll definitely want to get a spot with them now, or, get on the wait list if necessary. You’ll feel a huge weight lifted from your shoulders once you cross this off your to do list. Because, as you know, there are so many other things on a mama’s to do list before baby arrives.
Finding the right childcare for your little one can feel like a daunting task, with so many options available. But fear not, intrepid parent! This blog post will break down the most common types of childcare to help you navigate the exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) world of early childhood care.
Center-based care: Childcare After Maternity Leave
- Daycare centers: These bustling hubs offer structured activities, socialization, and care for groups of children, typically from infancy to preschool age. Think classrooms, playgrounds, and a steady stream of snacks and naptime lullabies. The hours at a daycare facility are wonderful for the full time working mom who needs to drop their little one off in the morning on the way to work and pick them back up when work is over. Your little one will have sweet little friends in their class, which is so precious. When you tour daycare centers make sure to ask how long each of the teachers have been there. A high turnaround would be a red flag. This is something I wish I’d known to ask before looking for daycares when I had my first child. The daycare will make sure your baby gets their naps and all meals and snacks. They actually helped me to get my first child on a schedule, which was nice as a first time mom!
- Preschools: Often attached to elementary schools or standalone facilities, preschools focus on early learning and development through play-based activities and curriculum. Preschool hours are shorter than daycare hours. Typically, a 9 am – 1 pm schedule, or something similar. Think finger painting, story time, and maybe even some pre-reading fun! Preschool starts at age 1. There are two, three, four and five day options, depending on the age of your child. Preschool is perfect for the mamas who decide to go back to work a little later. It is also a nice way for your little one to socialize and make friends. All three of my kids have gone to or still go to preschool. If you are anywhere near the Marietta to Canton, GA area I’d love to give you some recommendations.
Mother’s Morning Out:
- Mother’s Morning Out: If you’re not jumping back into a full time work schedule, but need a few days here and there, this is the perfect option for you. Or, if you need a little bit of time to grocery shop by yourself, or, just need a few hours to yourself, this is perfect! What’s best is you don’t need to make a big yearly commitment. This is as needed. Mother’s Morning Out is run through churches and you are allowed to send your child in for a total of 8 hours a week, which translates to two days at Mother’s Morning Out a week. Mother’s Morning Out saved me when I had two kids under 2 and was working part time. Check your local churches for a program like this, or, if you’re in the Marietta, GA area, please ask me for recommendations. This is something I didn’t know about when my first was an infant and I wish I did. I’d love to help!
- Montessori schools: Following the Montessori philosophy, these schools emphasize independence, exploration, and hands-on learning in a carefully prepared environment. Think self-directed activities, natural materials, and a focus on individual development. I have heard a lot of great things about these schools as well!
Home-based care: Childcare After Maternity Leave
- In-home daycare: Similar to daycare centers but in a smaller setting, in-home daycares are typically run by a caregiver in their own home and offer care for a limited number of children. Think cozy playrooms, backyard adventures, and a more intimate atmosphere.
- Nannies: Providing one-on-one care in your own home, nannies offer personalized attention and flexibility to suit your family’s needs. Think dedicated playtime, tailored routines, and a familiar environment for your child.
- Au pairs: Often young adults from other countries, au pairs live with your family and provide childcare in exchange for room, board, and cultural exchange. Think language immersion, exposure to new customs, and a helping hand with household tasks. As a child, I had several au pairs. The bond my family and I had with each one was wonderful. It’s a closeness and family like tie that you can only get with an au pair.
Other options: Childcare After Maternity Leave
- Family members: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, or other trusted family members can offer loving and familiar care while you’re away. Think shared traditions, family meals, and the comfort of loved ones.
- Babysitters: Ideal for occasional needs or evenings out, babysitters provide short-term care in your home. Think movie nights, pizza parties, and keeping your little one entertained for a few hours.
Before you decide:
- Consider your child’s age and needs. What kind of environment will they thrive in? Do they need a structured routine or more open-ended play?
- Think about your budget and schedule. How much can you afford? What hours do you need care for?
- Research and visit potential providers. Ask questions, compare philosophies, and trust your gut feeling.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk to other parents, friends, and family for recommendations.
Remember, the “perfect” childcare is the one that feels right for your family. So take your time, explore your options, and trust your instincts!
I hope this post has been helpful in your childcare journey. As a leader in maternity and newborn photography I want to do more than capture your newborn portraits. Furthermore, I want to help you along your entire journey through motherhood. Do you have any questions or experiences you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and let’s chat!
About the Author of Childcare After Maternity Leave: Casey McMinn Photography – the leader in Atlanta maternity and newborn portraits
Casey McMinn Photography isn’t just about capturing beautiful pictures; it’s about preserving life’s most treasured moments with artistry and a touch of luxury. Nestled near Atlanta, Georgia, this photography studio specializes in maternity, newborn, and cake smash portraits, transforming fleeting moments into timeless keepsakes.
Luxury from the Inside Out:
Stepping into Casey McMinn’s studio is like entering a haven of serenity. Soft lighting, calming colors, and plush furnishings create a welcoming atmosphere that instantly puts you at ease. The studio boasts a curated wardrobe of stunning maternity gowns and outfits for the whole family, ensuring everyone looks their picture-perfect best.
But the luxury goes beyond aesthetics. Casey understands the emotional weight of these precious moments, especially for expecting and new parents. She and her team go above and beyond to provide a stress-free experience, offering professional hair and makeup services and even taking care of all the posing and prop arrangements. It’s all about allowing you to simply relax and enjoy the magic of the moment.
A Master of Capturing Tiny Wonders:
Casey’s true magic lies in her ability to connect with her subjects, especially the littlest ones. With a gentle touch and a whisper-soft voice, she creates a calming environment for newborns, capturing their delicate features and innocent expressions in breathtakingly natural poses.
Her keen eye for detail and masterful use of light transform everyday moments into extraordinary works of art. Whether it’s a mother’s radiant glow during pregnancy, a newborn’s first gummy smile, or the joyful chaos of a family gathering, Casey captures the essence of what makes these moments so special.
More Than Just Photographs:
Casey McMinn Photography isn’t just about delivering digital files. It’s about creating heirloom pieces that will be cherished for generations. From beautifully framed prints and canvases to hand-crafted albums and wall galleries, Casey offers a variety of options to showcase your portraits in a way that reflects your personal style.
Investing in Memories:
Yes, Casey McMinn Photography is an investment. But it’s an investment in memories that will last a lifetime. In a world of fleeting moments and digital overload, these portraits become tangible reminders of the love, joy, and wonder that fill our lives.
If you’re looking for a photographer who will capture the essence of your family, preserve your precious moments with artistry and care, and create heirlooms that will be treasured for generations to come, then look no further than Casey McMinn Photography.
Ready to book your session?
Head over to Casey McMinn Photography’s website to learn more about their packages and services, browse their stunning portfolio, and book your own luxury portrait experience.
Remember, the most precious moments deserve to be captured beautifully.