Returning to Work After Maternity Leave- Finding a Caregiver for Your Baby

Preparation, research, and knowledgeable interviewing are the practical keys to matching your baby with the best caregivers for her. Above all, I believe in calling on the Holy Spirit for divine discernment when it comes to such an important task. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” Psalm 32:8

When hiring babysitters who will be spending a lot of time with my children without my husband or me present, I find it important to hire Christians. These caregivers have a role in raising your child and speaking into his life. We know that God’s word says to, “Start children off in the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6.  If possible, try to find a Christian to nanny your child. If you choose to have this person care for your child for many years, her world view, actions, and words will be an important influence on your child. Your church is a great place to ask other moms for suggestions or to hire a member of the congregation. We hire our church nursery workers to babysit for our children. We know that they profess to love the Lord, have experience working with children, and have had background checks through the church.

Questions to ask When Interviewing a Potential Nanny:

  • How long have you lived in this area?
  • Where are you from originally?
  • Tell me about your experience as a childcare provider.
  • What is your training and education?
  • Why do you like working with babies?
  • Tell me about the last baby your cared for and his family.
  • Have you ever had an emergency situation when working with a baby and how did you respond?
  • Do you know Infant CPR?
  • What kinds of activities do you like to do with babies?
  • What is your philosophy on discipline?
  • Are you willing to perform household chores?
  • Are you comfortable driving the baby?

What to Discuss With A Potential Nanny:

  • Your baby’s schedule
  • What you would like a typical day to look like for the nanny and child
  • Your view on discipline
  • Your Christian and cultural beliefs and your values
  • Your safety standards
  • Your expectations of her
  • Hours, Pay, Overtime, Holidays, and Sick Days

You want the potential nanny to feel that your family is a good match for her, as well. Be very clear about your beliefs and expectations upfront to prevent problems later that leave you scrambling to find a new caregiver.

If you choose to take your baby to a day care, see if there are any full-day care facilities at churches in your area. Often that is a way to leave your child in a Christian environment. However, if that is not possible, of course you can find a responsible and caring facility without a religious affiliation- and who knows? Your child may happen to have a caregiver there who knows the Lord. I take my 2-year-old to the nursery at my gym, and was thrilled to “catch” the nursery worker reading her Bible one morning waiting on the children to arrive.

Finding a Daycare:

  • Look for those that are close to your home or your place of work for convenience
  • Research their accreditation and licensing
  • Schedule an interview and tour
  • Notice the number of workers to children ratio
  • Notice the cleanliness of the facility
  • Notice the safety precautions taken for baby proofing
  • Stop by unannounced one day after your interview and tour
  • Check references
  • Narrow down to 2 during your pregnancy and then bring your baby by to see where she reacts the most positively

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