For working parents, daycare is a great option to have available. It provides them with the peace of mind knowing their kids are safe, well cared for, and happy while they are busy at work. And while that is certainly the model many families use, it isn’t the only circumstance where putting the kids in daycare makes sense.
Nowadays, adults change their careers a number of times in their lifespan, either working their way up through promotions, trying out a new field altogether, or even going back to school to prepare for a different path. If you’ve made the decision that you want to pursue a career in nursing, and you’ve decided that one of the online nursing programs makes the most sense for your needs and lifestyle, then there is no doubt you’re anxious to get started. But what about the kids? Who will be looking after them while you’re studying?
Here we’ll take a look at why it makes sense to put the kids in daycare now, as you pursue your online degree program.
Free Up Your Time to Focus on Your Studies
When it comes to the number one reason for enrolling the kids in daycare now, while you’re studying online, it’s really quite simple – it frees up your time. If you’ve enrolled in a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, the fact is that it is a very intensive program.
There is a lot of content to cover and it’s not just online. There will also be lab experiences, hybrid-interactive, and clinical experiences included in the program – all of which means you need to be available. You simply cannot be giving the kids your attention while you’re busy in an interactive class, studying for an upcoming test, or heading out to a clinical experience.
It’s almost as if you need to look at schooling as a job in itself, meaning it needs your full attention and focus. Being split between your studies and the kids just won’t work.
Prepare Them for What’s to Come
Then there is the fact that putting the kids in daycare now means you won’t have to worry about making that transition once you have graduated and find a job. The whole reason you are enrolled in an accelerated nursing program online is so that you can find a job in your chosen field.
As a nurse, it’s also very possible you could be working shift work, which includes evenings and overnight. If you need daycare during those less traditional hours, again, it’s best to be prepared in advance and get the kids transitioned as soon as possible.
Each child is unique in how they cope and adjust to the transition of daycare, especially if this is their first time outside of your care. Maybe it will only take a few short days for them to settle in, or perhaps it will be weeks or months before they really feel comfortable. So, why put it off until you are actually working and at a job? You don’t want to have to worry about settling in at your new job, while being worried about how your kids are coping with daycare.
Understand That Finding the Perfect Daycare Takes Time
Even if you’re able to manage with the kids at home while you do your degree program, and the in-person commitments it entails, the fact is that finding the perfect daycare takes time. Because of this, it’s best to get an early start to ensure the kids are settled in time for you to start working.
If this is the first time you have used daycare for your kids, it may also feel a bit overwhelming when it comes to how to pick the ‘perfect’ provider. While each child is unique, there are some basic tips you can follow that will help you to narrow down your options:
- What kind of daycare are you looking for? Do you want an in-home caregiver where you drop your child off at their house, or are you looking for a daycare center? Both have their own list of pros and cons, and are each worth investigating.
- How long has the provider been in operation?
- How many kids are at the daycare and what are the ages? How many members of staff are there, and what’s the turnover rate like?
- What are the hours of operation? Again, if you plan on getting into nursing, you could be dealing with unusual work hours. Not every daycare option will accommodate your schedule.
- What will happen if you are late picking up your child? Usually there is an extra charge that will be applied, so you’ll need to find out the details on how this works.
- Go for an in-person interview with your child so you can see the daycare in action, the providers in action, and see how your child reacts to the surroundings.
- When do they have space available? Just because you like a particular daycare provider, doesn’t mean they have space available right now. You may need to go on a waiting list.
- What happens when the provider is sick and unable to care for your child? Is it up to you to make alternate arrangements?
- On the flip-side, what is the policy for sick kids? This is even more important in today’s reality of COVID-19.
- Do you need to make any commitment, meaning you commit to a specific length of time that your child will be in their care?
- What meals and snacks are provided during the day?
- Does the provider offer anything in terms of communication with you while your child is in their care? Do they send text updates, can you log into a webcam to see what’s going on, and so forth.
So, while you may not have your dream career yet, it’s always a good idea to be thinking and planning ahead, and enrolling your kids in daycare now while you’re just starting your schooling makes good sense all around.