What Is The Earliest Age an Infant Can Start Daycare?
If you dont have a very long maternity leave from your job you may be wondering how soon an infant can start daycare. The answer varies significantly from daycare to daycare so you will need to do some research to find out the policies of daycares near you.
Most daycares, however, wont accept an infant until at least six weeks of age. And this must be a full term infant. If you have to go back to work after two or four weeks then that might leave you in a bind. There are some home based daycares that might accept your young infant and there is also the option of hiring a nanny until your child is old enough for a daycare.
Then again, some daycares are open and available for infants as young as two weeks of age. This may seem very young to you and you dont want to leave your child so soon, but if you have to go back to work you may not have a choice.
The best thing you can do in this situation is start looking for daycare providers before you actually have your baby. If you know that you will need to go back to work within a certain period of time then start scouting out daycares early. That way if a problem arises you will be able to handle it without stressing out too much. Also, when you have your baby you will want to enjoy the time you have together before you have to go back to work. Plus, you will need to relax and heal from the birthing process rather than search for a daycare.
When you are visiting daycare centers, or calling them on the phone, ask about their minimum age requirements. If they say six weeks or older ask if there is any leeway because you must return to work before your infant is six weeks of age and need daycare. Some facilities might be willing to work with you while others simply cannot due to the demands a very young baby places on the staff. Frequently, if you are looking for daycare for your young infant an in home daycare center will be your best choice especially if it is small and there are no other infants at the center.
It might take some time and research to find childcare for your less than six week old infant, but then again it might not. It really depends on your area and what you are capable of paying on a weekly basis for childcare. Just remember to start looking early so that you can enjoy every free moment you have with your newborn.