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2 out of 3 families struggle to find childcare that meets their standards

The number one deal-breaker for parents were childcare facilities in “sketchy” locations.

2 out of 3 families struggle to find childcare that meets their standards

For working parents, having confidence that your children are being well cared for during the day can make all the difference. Unfortunately, two in three parents do not have peace of mind with their children’s daycare or preschool, according to a recent study from C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health.


“Our poll demonstrates the challenge of choosing a preschool or childcare setting that meets all of a parent's criteria,” says poll co-director Sarah Clark in a press release. “Safety and health factors are important to parents, but too often, parents aren't sure how to determine if a childcare option is safe and healthy.”

For the report, researchers surveyed 307 parents with a child between the ages of one and five. They found that 62% of the parents struggled to find childcare options that met their standards for safety, cleanliness and affordability.

Among the top deal breakers for parents were:

  • The location seemed “sketchy” (70% of parents said this was an automatic “no”)
  • There were guns on the premises (56%)
  • Non-staff adults were on the premises (48%)
  • Unvaccinated children were allowed to attend (41%)
  • Staff member was a smoker (31%)

The researchers said their findings speak to the importance of parents doing their homework before sending young children to daycare or preschool. Beyond visiting the facilities and talking with staff members, the researchers suggest parents inquire about background checks, security policies, vaccination requirements and more.

“Some health-related characteristics are observable while others, such as how often toys are cleaned, are not as obvious,” Clark says. “The more research parents do ahead of time, the more confident they will feel that their children are in a safe and healthy environment.”

Unfortunately, the confidence many families have in their childcare situations comes at a big expense. According to another report this year from the Center for American Progress, the average American family spends more than 30% of their income on childcare. That finding led the Center for American progress to recommend universal preschool options for 3- and 4-year-olds and childcare options capped at 10% of the parents’ income for everyone else. (Just look at Finland for proof of concept.)

The latest report should put this conversation back on the table—because we all benefit when we know our children are in good hands during the day.

A very important letter for new mamas

Listen, mom-guilt is a dirty liar. Yes, it's your job to fill your little human's needs, but you matter too. Don't forget to take care of yourself. Hang out with friends, take a drive blaring 90's hip hop or shower without interruptions—trust me, you'll be a better person (and mom) because of it.

Dear new mom,

You will shave again someday. Today is not that day.

Set expectations low, my friend, and set your partner's lower—at least where body hair and overall hygiene are concerned.

That conversation could go something like this: “From now on let's not consider shaving a “standard," but more like a gift that happens on birthdays and the first day of summer."

Voila, you are a gift-giving genius. You know what else is a gift? Shaving the inch and a half of skin that is between your skinny jeans and your boots. You're welcome world.

You will not be perfect at parenting.

Boom.

I have yet to meet a perfect mother, but when I do, she's going to be a tiger who is insanely good at making up songs. (Daniel Tiger's mom, we salute you.)

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Life

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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It's science: Why your baby stops crying when you stand up

A fascinating study explains why.

When your baby is crying, it feels nearly instinctual to stand up to rock, sway and soothe them. That's because standing up to calm babies is instinctual—driven by centuries of positive feedback from calmed babies, researchers have found.

"Infants under 6 months of age carried by a walking mother immediately stopped voluntary movement and crying and exhibited a rapid heart rate decrease, compared with holding by a sitting mother," say authors of a 2013 study published in Current Biology.

Even more striking: This coordinated set of actions—the mother standing and the baby calming—is observed in other mammal species, too. Using pharmacologic and genetic interventions with mice, the authors say, "We identified strikingly similar responses in mouse pups as defined by immobility and diminished ultrasonic vocalizations and heart rate."

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