Is Childcare Harmful for my Child?
Most of us know what it’s like to be a first-time Mum going back to work after a period of maternity leave. We consider our childcare options: day nursery or nanny or childminder? Which is best for my child? Can I afford what I want? Will it be ok to leave my baby in the care of someone else?
You wonder (or worry!) how your child will get on with the new minder(s); whether you’re doing the right thing in going back to work and leaving your child with – as is the case most of the time – a complete stranger. And many of us will feel a certain amount of joy, a freedom, a sense of “getting back to normal”, a reclaiming of our identity, in getting back to work.
Then we hear so-called experts such as the psychologist and broadcaster Oliver James claim that mothers of toddlers should avoid working outside the home and leaving young children in the care of others for long periods. In his 2010 book “How Not to F*** Them Up” James wrote that mothers who go out to work and leave their toddlers in day care are to blame for their child’s bad behaviour. James’s views are controversial to say the least.
The best of both worlds?
Is it unnatural to leave your child with someone else while you go out to do a day’s work in order to pay the bills or to further your career or simply to do a job you enjoy? Of course, there are women (and some men) who prefer to stay at home to raise their children but they have to be able to afford to do so. Can working parents have the best of both worlds? Is it possible to go out to work and be confident that the childcare you have chosen is “good enough” for your child?
Recent studies show that childcare is not in fact harmful for children, once it is consistent, i.e. children are not given to one person one day and left with another on another day in a haphazard way, and once it is of a high standard. In other words if you can’t be the one to look after your child you want “second best” to be the very best. This is where careful consideration of your childcare options comes in. One of our previous blog articles, “Choosing Childcare That’s Right for You” is worth a read for more information on making this decision.
Nowadays most women have no choice but to work and their attitude is usually “I am doing my best”. Working motherhood is a reality so it’s crucial that you find childcare that’s right for you. Rather than assuming you won’t be able to afford a nanny, take a look at the NannyJob website. If you have more than one child, you may find that sending them to a childminder or a nursery can often work out nearly or as expensive. The advantage with a nanny too is that your children will be cared for in their own home by just one person. Alternatively, if you have just one child and wish to reduce your childcare costs, a nannyshare might be worth looking into. Visit our parents section at nannyjob.co.uk to begin your search.