If you're a single, working mom living in Brooklyn, then you know how difficult it can be to locate a good childcare situation. If you've been relying on a relative (or a friend) and feel like you would like a more permanent solution (and one that doesn't impose on friends and family) then you should consider one of the following solutions. The list below will cover a few different types of childcare solutions. Some of them are more expensive then others, so they are more geared towards white-collar women with big salaries. Others are more affordable and will be within the budget of women living paycheck to paycheck.
If you work a high-stress job and might be at the office for 80-plus hours a week (for instance, if you are a law-firm associate) or work crazy hours with alternating shifts (for example, if you are an ER doctor), then you are going to want someone who is able to be around your child around the clock. One excellent way to handle this is to get an au pair. An au pair is a person who lives with you and helps with some housework (cooking and cleaning) as well as taking care of the child in exchange for room and board. Often times the au pair is foreign born, perhaps from Sweden, Mexico, France, or Romania.
If you have a large salary but have abnormal working hours, and you live in a large apartment (or brownstone), this might be perfect. You can find au pairs who have studied early childhood education, which is extremely helpful. As an added benefit, you could choose an au pair that speaks a foreign language that you would like your child to learn. Learning to speak a foreign language is much easier when you are young, so this is a fantastic way to get started.
Keep in mind that the person will be living with you and your child, so you want to be super diligent about researching them. You can use one of the exclusive au pair agencies in NYC. They will have done quite a few interviews and reference checks beforehand, so you will be dealing only with well-qualified women.
Private Preschool Childcare
If you don't have a high-paying job and don't need someone who can be available to the child around the clock, then a great form of childcare is preschool. Preschool provides a group environment where you can drop your child off in the morning, and they will have a structured program throughout the day. There are preschool teachers on staff who are trained in early childhood development and will organize activities such as listening to music, playing board games that stress hand-eye coordination, and doing other interactive activities. These environments are also a great way for your child to learn how to socialize with others, so it will help prepare them for when they enter regular school.