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Frequently Asked Questions
by Kenyatta Thomas
I'm pregnant and looking for employment - should I tell them I'm pregnant?

When I found out I was pregnant with Christian, I was temping on a long-term assignment. I interviewed with my present company at the time, and when I was called back for the third and final interview, I told them I was expecting - though even then, legally I didn't have to. I, too, was worried about benefits, since I was due that March and had only started in September. What I found out, was that I would STILL be covered under Short Term Disability through my new job, which paid 88% of my new salary. Pregnancy is covered under STD and they will pay, but employers don't normally think to tell people this, so you MUST read those handbooks!

Are you SURE you won't survive the management change? If you're sure, would it be better to let them lay you off and receive your severance, unemployment, etc? That's another option too . . . if you quit and find another job, I would tell them I was pregnant ONLY when I was sure I had the job, and then I would make sure one of my benefits was Short Term Disability. It DEFINITELY can be done, because this is the same time of year I'd found out I was pregnant.

How do I begin to look for day care?

The BabyCenter has an excellent article, Baby Center Day Care Interview Sheet, regarding questions you should ask when looking for day care.

When beginning your search, check to see if your area as an office like the Office of Children which lists ALL HOME PROVIDERS licensed by the state. When looking for formal day care centers, it's best to start as early as possible because many day care providers, home AND formal, have either long waiting lists, or do not accept infants. When you've found something - reserve your spot ASAP! Remember; along with the questions you ask, look around, watch how the children interact with the teachers or home provider. Ask about the teacher turnover rate when you're interviewing formal day care centers,and ask about the child turnover rate when interviewing home care providers.

When you've chosen or narrowed down your search, go back and visit at different times of the day. It's important to see what the atmosphere is like at drop off and pick up times . . . not just nap time. smile

How long does it take to get over the anxiety of leaving your baby behind at a day care?

It really does get easier. The one thing that I can absolutely assure you of is - your baby will NEVER mistake another for you! That was one of my fears as well, but "it just ain't so!" Our babies know our voices . . . our touch . . . our smell . . . they KNOW who Mommy is.

Also, there is nothing wrong with calling the day care just to see how everything is going . . . and surround yourself with pictures . . . It DOES get easier. You can also find out if there is a specific time you can call in to your day care to get an update (like nap time). Many day cares prefer that you call during nap time or late afternoon (during the free-play time). Once you have been reassured that your baby is happy and thriving and the events of the day start to be repetitive, you will probably worry less.

How do you juggle work and sick children?

Unfortunately, our children ARE going to get sick. Even the healthiest children catch colds or other childhood ailments. Though most employers are sympathetic to having to take time off, there are some that may give you a hard time. You have several options.

  1. You can use your vacation time.
  2. If your child is sick longer than a day, you can split the days of staying home with your spouse.
  3. If your company is flexible with time regarding their employees and you have access to a computer, you can work from home.
  4. Keep written records of all illnesses and doctor visits, which come in handy sometimes in predicting how long you may have to stay out if your child falls ill with the same ailment.

Whatever options you choose when staying home with your children because of illness, make sure your employer or supervisor is aware of the nature of the illness. And above all else, keep the lines of communication open between yourself and your supervisor regarding the daily status of your sick son or daughter.

My husband and I are exploring childcare options, and I was wondering how much we can expect to spend on childcare by an individual?

Looking for a home day care, I would look in community newspapers, church bulletins, the local Y, and recreational centers. In most areas, even home care providers MUST be regulated and licensed by the state.

Check to see if your town has an Office of Child Care, and they will give you a list of home care providers in whatever area you are looking for. On that list it has whether the people are trained in such things as CPR, if they are bilingual, if they provide meals, etc.

There's a rumor going around big layoffs are coming, what do I do?

Before the Layoff is On The Horizon

  1. ALWAYS keep an updated copy of your resume on hand. I update my resume every other month or so.
  2. Include any type of training, formal and informal, on your resume.
  3. DON'T put a salary requirement on your cover letter, unless it is ASKED for from the job you are applying for.
  4. Look through the job postings once in a while at your current job, even if you are comfortable in the position you already have. Sometimes this is the key to seeing if your job type and another job type are being merged . . . and indicates if there is a possibility of your position being phased out.
  5. Look through the employment section of your local newspaper, to see where the trend in jobs are leading . . . and if the job you are doing is going down that same path.
  6. Don't count temp agencies out! I have used temp agencies to bridge the gap of unemployment more than once, and I found my last job which I worked at for seven years, through a temp agency.
If You've Already Received a Layoff Notice:
  1. Don't Panic. See if they are prepared to help you find another position.
  2. Depending on how much time they are giving you, register at a couple of temp agencies.
  3. Most states will give you unemployment benefits, even when you are temping, because temp work isn't considered steady work.
  4. DON'T BURN BRIDGES!!! Many people become irate at receiving a lay off notice, and take that opportunity to give employers what for! BIG MISTAKE!! Many times I've received a layoff notice, only to have it rescinded, and I've kept my job. Also, YOU NEED REFERENCES, and sometimes, that supervisor can help you find another job, or point you in the right direction.
My son is 10 months old and I've been considering going back to work. If I went back to my career, would I be sacrificing something so much more important?

There ARE positives to returning to work.

Your child's socialization skills soar being around other children. Their capacity for learning and grasping new things & ideas AND people expand everyday.

You can adjust your working hours to early hours, so they doesn't spend ALL day in day care, but work enough so that you can provide for him.

Your baby is going to be the happiest when YOU are happiest. You just do what you think is best, stick to it, and don't let anyone tell you that you aren't doing what is best.

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