Child Care After Divorce

Many if not most divorced people require child care, so the parents can work or attend school during the day. A tight schedule does not enable him or her to provide for the children in an appropriate manner.

Here are some basics to remember when selecting child care for a child:
  • Health and Safety. Ideally, the child should be in a place where his or her activities enhance the child’s social behavior and imagination and promote the a strong parent-child bond. This means that a child should be in the hands of a loving caregiver who is trained and experienced in caring for children, someone who understands the wants and needs of both the children and the parents. The child care facility should have amble space for play both inside and outside, toys that are creative, fairly new, and safe, and a full schedule of indoor and outdoor daily activities for children of all ages.
  • Types of Child Care. A variety of care arrangements are on the market for children of all ages. These include at home care, where a hired caregiver cares for the children at the home of his or her employer (often a friend or relative, but may also be what is often referred to as a Professional Nanny); Before and After-School Care, where the parent’s schedule does not able them to be available when school begins and/or when school ends; Child Care Centers, where a child receives care in a setting for several children (common with younger children and includes nurseries and preschool); Family Day Care, where the child is cared for at another home, with other children from after school until about six o’clock in the evening (play time exists and an emphasis is placed on doing homework); Employer Sponsored Child Care, in which companies often offer a child care service at the workplace in order to promote employment and the quality rearing of the employees’ children.
  • Finding Quality Child Care. Shopping for good child care is very important and takes time. A parent can start by making a list of services in the area, including social service organizations, churches and synagogues, schools and universities, YMCAs & YWCAs and Girls & Boys Clubs, local women’s groups and community organizations. Friends, neighbors and co-workers who have been down the child care road are often a very good source of information.
  • An On-Site Visit. A parent must visit the site before deciding which is the best.
  • A Written Agreement. Any contract should include language about costs and fees, emergencies, daily routines, days and hours of care, caregiver’s and parent’s responsibilities.
  • Making a Decision. The decision is based on personal finances, the child’s welfare and the match between parent’s and child’s needs and the facility’s operation.

Common Questions and Answers
Q. What should a parent ask about when making a visit to a child care operation?

A. Things to ask about include fees and payment schedule, the daily routine, the ratio of children to caregivers, experience and training of the caregivers, and a description of daily activities.

Q. What are questions a parent might forget to ask?

A. Parents may forget to ask about child discipline, visiting the child during the day, and other personnel who may be caring for the children.

Q. What should a parent look for when visiting a child care operation?

A. Things to look for include a current state child care license, toys and furniture appears safe and in good condition, electrical outlets have safety caps and unexposed heaters, smoke detectors and monthly fire drills, first aid equipment, cleanliness, storage space for a child’s personal belongings as well as space for rest (naps) as well as recreation and play time.

Q. How can a child become adjusted to care away from his or her parent?

A. A child adjusts to a new care routine when he or she and his or her parent talks about it. A parent should allow for plenty of time to get ready, and spend some time at the child care facility with the children. The parent should always say goodbye to the children and call occasionally to see how things are going. A good rapport with the caregiver is invaluable.



Useful Online Tools
  • Custody JunctionTM - Easily schedule, track and monitor current and future custody, visitation, and support arrangements.
  • Online Parenting Plans - Our Online Parenting Plan Service will allow you to create and execute your very own personalized parenting plan.
  • Mandatory Parenting Class - This service if for you, whether you are court mandated or if you simply want the best, up to date information about how to keep your kids healthy and safe throughout the divorce process.

Suggested Reading
How to Win Child Custody How to Win Child Custody
This is not your basic child custody book like most you will find in a bookstore. This book is for people who are in the middle of a custody dispute or feel as though there is a possibility of one in the future. This is a resource for those parents who are fighting for their rights and/or custody of their children.

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