You've made the decision to be a WAHM (i.e., work at home mom), and you think that you've nixed the need for child care. Or have you? Sending your little one to a child care center isn't just for work-out-of-the-home parents. Why? Check out these reasons why you might need a daycare center, even if you work at home.
- The educational benefits. Don't be duped by the 'care' part of the words 'child care'. Today's daycares also offer developmental services similar to traditional preschool programs. An early education results in better literacy and math scores later on and makes it less likely that your child will need to repeat a grade when she moves on to elementary school, according to the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.
- Phone calls. A client just called and needs your full attention. But, your 3-year-old has to have a juice. She doesn't just want a juice box, but she needs one right now. She's in the background whaling, "Mommy, juice, juice, juice, juice!" Now what? You could excuse yourself from the conference call that you're already on, get the juice and call the client back. If that doesn't seem professional, you're right. On the other hand, if your child is at daycare for a few hours a day you can schedule important calls during these hours and let voicemail pick up during the others.
- Work mommy vs. home mommy. Your young child may struggle while navigating the differences between you at work and you at home. When you walked out of the house in the morning, she knew that you were going to your job. Now that you're home she doesn't understand that you need to work too. It's confusing for your child and makes it tricky to work. Solve the problem by separating your two jobs (as a worker and a mom) by using a part-time child care program.
- Socialization. Roughly 20 percent of children (reported by teachers) don't have the social and emotional skills that are essential to start kindergarten, according to the National Institute for Early Education Research. How does your child develop social skills? By being around other kids. If your child doesn't go to preschool you can accomplish this goal through classes and activities such as playground trips or playdates. When you work from home your schedule may not allow this. Taking the afternoon off to go to the park is just as much of an impossibility as it would be if you had to go into the office. Child care, even if it's only for a few hours a week, provides social benefits that your child needs.
You are a working parent. Don't forget the 'W' in WAHM. Your home office is still the office. Would you take a second full-time job for the same hours as your first one? Probably not. Deciding to work at home and parent at home full time is similar to having two positions that you have to do at the exact same time. Child care, like that offered by Old Dominion Day School Inc, frees your time and allows you to get one job done without having a second at the same time.