DEAR ABBY: I am a new mom to a sweet baby boy. I am (or was) very career-oriented and never in a million years thought I would want to be a stay-at-home mom. I will have to return to work shortly, and I'm really struggling.
I have a hard time putting my little one in day care, but I don't have a choice. I have no idea where to begin, how to select the right day care or what questions to ask. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. -- NEW MOM IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR NEW MOM: Start by talking to your friends and family, asking if they know of a day care that's good, then make sure that any facility you're considering is licensed. Spend a little time there to see how the caregivers interact with the children.
Go to babycenter.com and search on "daycare." You will find a section on day care centers that will give you the information you need. You should also check with your state's department of social services to be sure no complaints have been filed. I wish you luck in your search.