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There so many difficult decisions to make when you get pregnant. Many of the decisions are quick and only have a minimal impact on your baby’s life; such as the color of the nursery or the outfit they will wear coming home from the hospital. Then there are the decisions that will have a lasting impact on their entire lives.
Two of the most difficult decisions that Austin and I had to make were who Morgan’s pediatrician would be and upon returning to work what day care and/or nanny would we feel comfortable leaving Morgan with.
While I was still pregnant I decided to look at my decisions very pragmatically. My baby would be my new Chief Executive Officer and I was going to be her head of Human Resources. It was my job to hire the best, most competent and qualified individuals to have on her team. I then took to interview mode. I was not only going to research and do my standard pro and con list but I was also going to conduct interviews my with baby’s new staff.
Selecting both a pediatrician and a day care/nanny in Los Angeles is very competitive. Pediatricians that are sought after usually don’t take new patients unless they have another child who will be aging out. Day cares sometimes have a year long waiting list. Good nanny’s are even harder to come by because they can stay with one family anywhere from 5-10+ years. My first course of action was word of mouth recommendations. I asked trusted friends, colleagues and strangers who they used. Once I had a referral list and my own researched list I took to scheduling interviews. First up was the day care. We opted for a day care versus a nanny for one main reason.
- The day care we selected was 5 minutes from our offices. Convenience for pick up/drop off, piece of mind knowing she was so close by and the opportunity to stop by and nurse her or comfort her if needed throughout the day were key to our decision.
Our first choice day care had a year long waiting list- we applied when I was only 4 months pregnant which to me was quite insane! To the interview I took my trusted bullet journal containing my list of 20 well crafted questions. I was able to scale back on my questions after doing on-line research prior to the interview. Based on their website I was able to answer such items as baby to caregiver ratio, hours of operations and holiday schedule. I did however ask a few unconventional questions that I would like to share. Hopefully these questions will assist you in your search for the right primary caregiver.
- What certifications do the caregivers have individually and what certifications does the center have? How often are they renewed?
- How do you develop your curriculum? Do you adapt your curriculum to national standards/best practices?
- How do you sooth babies that are crying? What if multiple babies are crying at the same time?
- How do you discipline the babies? Do you have a zero tolerance policy for aggressive kids?
- What is your active shooter/evacuation protocol?
I know the last question can be rather scary to think about but in California earthquakes are a big threat and unfortunately in the world active shooters are all too real. I wanted to know that the center was thinking about these things. During our interview we also took a tour of the facility. Before we signed our security deposit for the waiting list I made sure to pop by the center at odd hours to ensure that everything ran smoothly even when they weren’t in tour mode.
I must say that our due diligence in selecting a day care has paid off immensely. Morgan who is almost 14 months now has been in day care since she was 6 months old. They are kind, loving, compassionate, friendly, and caring towards her in every possible way. We are ecstatic with our selection.
Our Pediatrician search was almost identical to the day care search. We asked for recommendations, and conducted an interview and tour. With the pediatrician I wanted to make sure that they shared the same values that we did because so much of what they will recommend depends on their outlook. For instance I questioned them about their vaccination protocol, their opinions on bottle feeding versus breastfeeding; and their willingness to consider both eastern and western medical techniques. We ended up being 2 for 2 because Morgan’s pediatrician is incredible.
If you are in the process of selecting either a caregiver or a pediatrician, remember the simple philosophy – you are your baby’s head of HR, it is your job to select the best, most competent and qualified individuals to have on his/her team! Now grab your list of questions and get to interviewing.