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Evaluating Childcare

Work and Caregiving Arrangements

API's Eight Principles of Parenting are recommended companion readings as the foundation and context for all of our research-based resources.

All young children need to have a consistent, loving caregiver as a primary caregiver who builds a healthy, formative relationship with the child over time. When parents rely on others to help them care for their child, the family should look for loving, predictable, stable caregivers who show an interest in the child and has the capacity to reliably care for the child.


Tips to Planning Work and Caregiving Arrangments 

  • Explore a variety of economic and work arrangement options to permit your child to be cared for by one or both parents as much as possible
  • Ensure that your child is with a predictable, stable, loving caregiver that they know, as much as possible
  • Parents should expect and encourage their child to form an attachment to the caregiver
  • Frequent new caregivers is not good for young children because they suffer loss and aren't able to form critical healthy relationships
  • If you transition caregivers or caregiving schedules, try advance trials
  • If you're changing caregivers or your child is sensitive to separations, make early introductions and gradual changes if possible. Good caregivers will have many ways to soothe a child distressed by separation. (Parents should never sneak away)
  • Minimize the number of hours in non-parental care as much as possible 
  • Holding and cuddling and other reunion rituals and routines can help parents and babies reconnect after being apart. Include the child in day-to-day tasks, and spend non-work time with family.


Free Resources from API's Library