Before you get started researching daycare options, consider what you want your child to get out of his daycare experience. Do you want him to get a jump start on his education at the ripe age of 12 weeks? Do you want him to learn to socialize? Do you want him to receive one-on-one care? Here are a few options that might meet your needs:
If you are looking for one-on-one childcare as well as some additional household help, consider hiring a nanny or caregiver who can come to your home. She'll care for your baby and take care of light housekeeping, laundry, etc.
Daycare centers provide socialization and offer the structure of a preschool or learning center. Many daycare centers also cater to your baby's feeding/napping schedule, not the one they set. Keep that in mind if you have a set schedule to which you want your baby to adhere when he's not in your care.
If you want your child to experience a home-like environment with a small group of children, research in-home daycare centers in your area. Another popular option is a small childcare center in a professional's home.
Regardless of the daycare option you're considering, do your research. Tour the facility, ask for credentials and recommendations, and ask around before you commit to anything. You want to make the daily daycare dropoff as painless as possible -- for your baby and you.
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