Finding Child Care for Your Preemie

June 19, 2013

Roxy at 4 months when she began child care

When Roxy came home, our situation was a little different.  There was no way we could financially survive me being off work without pay.  I divided my four weeks of maternity leave – two weeks following Roxy’s birth and two weeks following her arrival home.  We knew that she would then be immediately placed in some type of child care.For the first six weeks after I returned to work, we were very fortunate and blessed.  My aunt volunteered to keep Roxy at her house while I worked.  It was the height of RSV season and we knew that she would not be exposed to any other children at my aunt’s and the risk of RSV would be very low.  It was a fantastic arrangement that we still enjoy nine months out of the year.

During those six weeks, we were very busy looking for replacement care for the three months my aunt would be in Florida.  As with all parents, we were finding it very hard to find someone we felt we could trust with our child.  At four months old, Roxy was supposed to be in quarantine until the end of April to keep RSV at bay.  We had already decided that home child care was a must and limited contact with other children would be top priority.In addition to the questions normally asked by parents when seeking child care, we also asked ourselves the following when interviewing prospective child care providers:

  • Will contact with other children be limited? 
  • Has the caregiver had previous experience with premature babies?
  • Does the provider implement a strict hand-washing routine and employ other routines to avoid germ spreading?
  • Can we trust the caregiver to follow the strict care instructions for our little one?
  • Does Roxy seem comfortable with the new caregiver?  (We took Roxy for a visit before deciding.)
  • Does the caregiver understand that there may delays in our preemie’s development?
  • Will the caregiver implement an appropriate educational program and take into consideration Roxy’s adjusted age?

We were again lucky to find exactly what we needed.  We found a in-home sitter who had prior experience with a premature baby.  The caregiver only had one other child.  There was one instance where she was sick and failed to let us know the seriousness of her illness, but we were fortunate that Roxy did not get ill.  We hired her as needed for a couple of years before Roxy began preschool.

How did you choose child care for your preemie?  Were you able to stay home?  Were you able to find what you wanted or did you have to compromise?