Going back to work after having your baby
Choosing your childcare wisely
- Day-nursery: your child is looked after with other children by a team of professionals (paediatric nurses and child care assistants). A paediatrician drops by regularly to keep a check on the children. The day-nursery also offers an excellent level of safety and the other children greatly stimulate the babies who often progress very quickly. In addition it is open all year round, as opposed to childminders and nannies who often impose the dates of their holidays on you. But day-nursery can also be tiring for your child and colds and bronchitis type infections spread fast as each adult is in charge of five babies (or eight toddlers): the personnel's availability for your child is thus limited.
- Approved childminder: trained and regularly inspected she looks after a maximum of four children under three years of age (including her own) in her home. While flexible and convenient if the childminder lives near you, this child care service requires a certain amount of vigilance: before making a decision, conduct an in-depth interview with her, look at her home very thoroughly and meet the other people who will be present when your child is being looked after (husband, children, etc.): in order to be trustworthy it is essential for your childminder to be sufficiently devoted and affectionate towards your baby and able to offer him or her a suitable environment (sufficient child care equipment and games, no dogs left wandering around, no television constantly left on, no cigarettes, etc.).
- Nanny: the ideal child care in many ways, for the nanny in your home is constantly available for your child and this means that you do not have to change his routine or environment. She also saves you from having to pick up your child after work. And last but not least, while the baby is having a nap your nanny can do a few household tasks for you if you negotiate them with her when you draw up her contract. But there is a price to pay for this comfort: it is by far the most expensive child care service. To reduce costs you could envisage shared child care with another family, alternating between each other's homes.