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Food Allergies and Day Care? Help!

Posted Aug 07 2010 5:34am
Looks like my work situation is changing, so that means so is my child care situation. I want to start off by saying I have nothing against Day Care. Every family has different needs. In fact I've been looking for two 1/2 day programs for Cormac. He needs more stimulation and educational interaction. However, I've been unsuccessful since he misses the age cut off by 5 days! It's very frustrating.

A few months ago (pre peanut/tree nut allergy), I had done some Day Care scouting as I needed to increase my work hours. I did find one that I liked, but it wouldn't work financially. Day Care in the NY Metro Area is pricey. I was able to find a friend that offered to watch him for the increased hours. I LOVE her and she's great with him. She has a little girl Cormac's age. They are like 2 peas in a pod! When he was diagnosed with his peanut and tree nut allergy she was amazing, and still is. So obviously my problem is not with her. The other days I work, he with with his dad or grandma. Again not a problem.

So what is the problem? Well work has requested that I return full time. That mean 2.5 more days of child care that I need to find. I have to admit I am freaking out! I know emotionally he will be fine and probably love it. I don't trust many people with him now that he has allergies, and I don't want to give up my time with him. I have to say I've been very lucky thus far balancing family and work. I also understand where my company is coming from. They have been very generous and understanding with me. I really did have the best of both words.

Here lies the big problem: Will he be safe at a Day Care? I know food allergies are more prevalent these days. Day Cares must have experience with this, but I 'm terrified to let a group of people take care of him. What it there is a substitute who isn't aware of his allergies? What if the teacher forgets? What about accidental cross contamination? I work somewhat far from home, what if I can't get there in time? It's hard enough for us to make sure he's safe, and we are his parents. Cormac is our world, and our lives have changed accordingly. But can a Day Care really keep him safe?

I know I have more research an interviewing to do. I would love to know how other parents of food allergic kids handle this situation. If you have and suggestions or advise please let me know! I really need some guidance here.
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