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Valley Parents: Welcome to the child care edition



Valley News Calendar Editor
Friday, August 02, 2019

The statement that stands out to me the most in this edition of Valley Parents is from Lisa Williams, of Newbury, Vt.

“We told the child care center before we told anyone else, including family,” Williams told correspondent Kelly Burch about when she and her husband learned they were expecting their first child.

We decided to put the focus on child care in this edition of Valley Parents, as it is a topic that every parent must consider. In the Upper Valley — like other places throughout the United States — the cost of child care is rising and there are not enough available spots to meet the demand.

Burch talked to many parents to ask them how they manage. Tabetha Dimick works opposite shifts from her husband. Single mom Shauna Hafford went on welfare until she received financial assistance to pay for care. Josh Clark became a stay-at-home dad who babysits other children in addition to caring for his own. Burch herself did a child care swap with another mom who also works from home.

“Parents get put in a bind of determining whether or not it’s affordable for them to work,” Nancy Bloomfield, executive director of The Family Place, told Burch.

When children get older, they can begin to stay at home on their own, but parents must consider a child’s development and maturity level, Dr. Nina Sand-Loud, a developmental behavioral pediatrician at The Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock, told Burch. Sand-Loud also provided tips to help parents determine when their children are independent enough.

Lastly, Burch interviewed 17-year-old Rose Terami, who works as a babysitter. 

“Babysitting is an entrepreneurial job — you either accept or decline the requests of your clients and you learn to manage your own money,” Terami told Burch.

Throughout the edition, Burch also provides tips and resources for parents who are seeking child care. It may be a difficult landscape, but help is out there.

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at esauchelli@vnews.com or 603-727-3221.