For parents, the thought of leaving their child in someone else’s care — especially for the first time — can be nerveracking. When the child has diabetes, it can be especially stressful to find child care that you feel comfortable with. Consider these tips when looking for dependable care.
When family or trusted friends are not available, consider:
• Local support groups for parents of children with diabetes. Members may know some trustworthy babysitters or be willing to exchange babysitting duties. You can find local groups by visiting the web sites of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (www.jdrf.org) or Children With Diabetes (www.childrenwithdiabetes.com).
• Mature teens who manage their own diabetes. Your local American Diabetes Association chapter may be able to help find such candidates (www.diabetes.org).
• Nearby colleges. They may have nursing, special education or child development programs.
• Your local American Red Cross chapter. It may offer a babysitting course and may be able to recommend “babysitting graduates.”
Out-of-Home Child Care
When looking at a day care center:
• Make sure that the center is licensed. Each state has requirements for child care providers; learn more from the National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education at nrc.uchsc.edu/STATES/states.htm.
• Ask about accreditation. While it is voluntary, it shows that the center has met certain quality standards. Family daycare programs are accredited by the National Association for Family Child Care.
• Meet with the director/owner, and ask about the center’s experience with children with diabetes.
• Check your state’s licensing office for any complaints against the center.
• Visit the center several times at different times of day. Take notes on how organized or hectic it is, the ratio of teachers to children, how clean it is, etc.
• Speak with at least two other families with children at the facility (ideally, other parents of children with diabetes).
Listen to your gut. If the place doesn’t feel right, it isn’t right — for you or your child.
Remember, if you have any questions or concerns about diabetes, talk to the pharmacist at Parkway Pharmacy.