Co-parenting after a divorce presents you and your ex-spouse with a series of challenges, but good communication can often be the secret to success. If you're sharing custody of a child who will soon need to attend daycare, it will be important to get together with your ex and decide how to proceed. Each of you may have some different ideas about which daycare will be best, so it's advantageous to be respectful as you hear your ex's ideas, but also be sure to share your own thoughts. Here are some daycare-related decisions that you and your ex will need to make before you move forward.
One of the biggest topics to discuss when you and your ex are trying to choose a daycare for your child is the location of the daycare. It often makes sense to choose one that is roughly equidistant from your two homes, as this will be convenient regardless of who has custody on any given day. If there are several daycares in a neighborhood that is convenient to both of you, this decision should be fairly easy. If there are more daycares closer to where one parent lives, perhaps you or your ex won't mind driving slightly longer to drop the child off and pick him or her up.
Parents can often have different philosophies about raising children—sometimes to the point at which it affects the relationship. For example, one parent might be of the mindset that "kids will be kids," and believe that hands-off parenting is the best style. The other parent, meanwhile, might feel as though discipline is critical to raising a polite child. It may be challenging to come to a consensus on this topic, but it's important to find a daycare that suits both of your parenting philosophies. Daycares spell out their approach to childcare on their websites, and you can also call or visit to learn more about whether a particular daycare is in alignment with your approach to parenting.
It's always important to evaluate how much it will cost to send your child to daycare, but this can especially be a point of discussion in a co-parenting situation. For example, if you're the parent who earns more money, you might be comfortable with a daycare that costs more. However, your ex may not be as keen. Regardless of your child support and spousal support arrangements, you'll need to agree on how to proceed. Some parents will want to split the daycare fees 50/50, but it can also make sense to split them in a manner that makes more sense based on your individual financial pictures.
To learn more, contact your local daycare centers.