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I would agree that a nanny is much better, especially for an infant. I just could not get used to the idea of leaving my babe w/ someone who had several other kids to watch. If you're the type that would never let the baby cry and is super-sensitive to his/her needs, just try to imagine doing that with kids of varying ages (including relatives and non-relatives) running around w/ needs of their own. It just seemed very stressful for everyone involved.

You sound very (extremely) prepared, but it's hard to prepare for the feelings you will have for your first child. I'm speaking from experience here - completely unprepared!! We finally found an AWESOME nanny who is doing 2 days a week now but will probably go to 3 when I change jobs.

I did the whole CCR&R list and combed through home daycares, but came up empty. The 2 I interviewed were not ideal because: First one had to pick up & drop off her DS at school everyday, and since she was close to my work, which is a 20 minute drive each way, I felt this was too much time for DD to be in the car exposed to dangers from accidents, not being responded to, germs, etc. The second one was close to my home but I didn't get a good vibe. She was a single, older white woman who had adopted 3 african-american children with some major health problems, which I TOTALLY respect. The problem was I had to pry it out of her. Being secretive I don't think is a good quality in a DCP.

The way I found my nanny was to list on the 2 local college job boards. I actually didn't get ANY leads from them directly, but one of them automatically sent the listing to a local public job placement service. My nanny was relatively new in town so I guess that worked to my advantage b/c otherwise someone would have snatched her up.

Regarding questions and training: I just tried to keep in mind that if there was anything I thought might be uncomfortable for her to answer (say, if she had any health probs or such), then that was basically a signal to me that I owed it to DD to ASK it. Get background checks, motor vehicle records, drug tests, ANYTHING you think could weed out someone bad for DC. If they have nothing to hide, then they won't have any problem complying.

I think it is IMPERATIVE to spend time w/ the DCP/nanny prior to leaving your DC w/ them. A couple week trial would be great. Just keep in mind that you need to pay them for this time. I pay $10/hr, which is expensive, but actually below average for my area. I didn't think I'd be able to find a nanny for < $12.50/hr. My nanny doesn't seem to really need the money... She has a nicer, bigger house than I do, and she & her husband own 6 investment properties. Otherwise I might be leary of her not demanding pay at the higher end of the spectrum.

Bottom line, make sure that all the info you're getting from applicants ADDS UP. Don't let any instinct go or any question in your mind sit unanswered. And make sure you, DH & other relatives can drop in often. Not because you want to catch DCP doing anything bad, but because it will a) give you peace of mind, and b) keep her "honest" knowing that she could be walked in on at any second.

HTH! Congrats!
 

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Excellent points, Wednesday. I admit I am inexperienced in this area. All I can really do is share my story & how I made the decisions I did. Right now I am working on finding enough things for the nanny to do w/ DD, without shoving too many plastic things in her face all day. I guess when it came down to it, my decision on not doing daycare had more to do w/ the specifics of the providers I came across. Probably if I'd had more time to observe, I may have felt differently. Can't say I would have ended up doing anything different, but you are right about having other kids for the baby to play w/ & observe.
 
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