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Child Care? You Have Options!
The image of Mom or Dad
hip-hopping in and out of the office performing super entrepreneurial
feats is fun to imagine, but don't take it too seriously. If
you have young children underfoot, you need help!
by Lisa M. Roberts
Lately the media supports the premise
that work and children go together, that such a lifestyle is
as simple and easy-going as Sunday mornings and summer afternoons.
We've all seen the television commercials where Dad is at his
home computer with a three-year old daughter coloring by his
side, or Mom dressed in jeans is at the drawing board and toddler
is waddling over for a hug. It looks ideal, doesn't it? Time
spent side by side...being productive...in harmony... without
Well consider that such situations
last about as long as those commercials! (On occasion, perhaps
a few moments longer.) Although home and work fit in quite well
together, young children and work do not.
The image of Mom or Dad hip-hopping
in and out of the office performing super entreprenurial feats
is fun to imagine, but don't take it too seriously. Without dedicating
15 to 50 uninterrupted hours every week to your business,
you simply will have none.
When your home business starts
to grow and you need to clear more work hours in your day than
naps and nights will allow, it's time to consider supplemental
child care. Child care also allows you to take a break from the
house, which you will surely need to do to keep a well-balanced
perspective on your home life. As a home-based professional,
you will want to leave that base to:
- Call on prospects.
- Meet with clients in their office.
- Attend seminars.
- Lunch with fellow home office
- Participate in association meetings.
Knowing your children are safely
cared for and well-adjusted to child care circumstances will
free you to enjoy these much-needed professional outlets.
When scouting out child care
situations, there's a multitude of options to choose from and
concerns to address. As you consider your options, keep these
top priorities in mind:
- Safety - The utmost service a child care provider
offers is the physical safety of your children. Above and beyond
all else, you want to make sure your children will be protected,
sheltered and otherwise unharmed during the time you are not
with them. This boils down to a matter of trust in the individual(s)
you decide on, which is usually developed through reference checks,
trial periods and pure gut instinct.
- Suitability - It's important to find a child care provider
your children enjoy being with and an arrangement that suits
their temperament. Some children feel more secure in their own
home environment while others thrive in different surroundings.
- Reliability - When you have business to tend to, meetings
to make and deadlines to meet, you need someone you can count
on. Reliability ranks high in choosing a caregiver. When you
do find a child care situation that works for you, don't take
it for granted. Pay attention and show appreciation for the support
available to you and your family.
- Affordability - Child care costs vary widely according
to the area you live in, the experience of the child care provider(s)
and the particular arrangement you choose. For instance, if you
have more than two children, it generally costs less to have
one person come to your house than to have three children go
- Convenience - The child care arrangement you choose
should fit into the schedule of your family and your business
without taking up too much time in travel. Customize the supplemental
child care provisions according to your own agenda if at all
It's a good idea to have one
or two back-up child care options for variety and reliability.
However, to avoid the feeling of being shuffled around, it's
best for your children to have a primary supplemental
child care provider.
- © 1997 Lisa M. Roberts, all rights reserved. The above article
is an excerpt from How
to Raise A Family & A Career Under One Roof: A Parent's Guide
to Home Business, a title highly recommended by La Leche
League, Home Office Computing and the Family Christian
your own copy today!