At this point you might be having trouble believing your due date will ever arrive, so it may not have occurred to you to start looking for someone to care for your baby when you return to work. However, as any experienced working parent can tell you, searching for the right daycare solution is a tough task. It's difficult both logistically and emotionally. You're going to have to find a loving caregiver whose schedule and values match your own.
Luckily, there are more options than ever, and the past two decades of research has shown us that high-quality daycare is actually beneficial for most children. While some research, including a study conducted recently by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, suggests that children who spend more than 30 hours a week in child care are more likely to be aggressive and disobedient by the time they reach kindergarten, that same research also pointed to daycare gains, like better language, problem-solving skills, and memory development. The view held by most researchers is that the most critical influence on a child's behavior is his home environment, whether he's in full-time daycare or at home with his mother.
So how do you find the right daycare for you? Here are some options to consider: