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If you feel confident about your caregiver, you’ll be less anxious about leaving your child each day. Before choosing a caregiver, ask for references or names of other parents using the childcare. Find out if the caregiver’s views on raising children match your own. Then, visit the site unannounced and see how much attention each child receives.
If your child stays alone, you’ll both feel better knowing that he or she is prepared to stay safe.
Keep phone numbers and rules by the telephone. Make Rule #1 a daily check-in call to you (or another adult) at a set time. Make Rule #2 not to open the door to strangers or tell callers they’re alone.
Teach your child to call 911 in emergencies, and identify a neighbor who can be called on for help.
Encourage your child to join an organized activity, such as a school sport or scouting. Your child will learn new skills and make new friends.
Why go it alone? Sharing experiences with your coworkers can provide emotional support and practical solutions. If you’re having trouble finding child care, your EAP may be able to provide local referrals. For supervised after-school programs, contact your child’s school, your local recreation department, or your county child-care agencies. Look in the government sections of your phone book for listings.