I am a working mom. I have no problem admitting I am a better mom when I work! However, when I’m not there I want the best care for my children. You shouldn’t have to worry about the kind of care your children are receiving when you are at work, after all you have enough responsibilites! I have compiled a list of the three most popular types of professional childcare and some pros-and cons to each in order to make choosing the right type of childcare for you and your family easier!
Childcare Learning/Daycare Center
Childcare centers are great for busy families with multiple aged children. For the most part, centers are broken down by different age groups in classroom type settings. They require state lisences and have to follow USDA guidlines for all meals served. A lot of childcare centers are “nut free” and great for children with food allergies. Childcare centers also offer time for different aged siblings to be in the same building but also allow them to have time to themselves and other children their own age. This really gives siblings time to grow as individuals with the comfort of being close to their family. Daycare centers have state approved child-to-teacher ratios, that being said, in some centers your child could be moved to/from different classrooms to comply with those ratios. In the morning you may drop your child off in one classroom and as more children and staff arrive they will be broken down into smaller classes. As the evening goes on and children are being picked up the number of classrooms then consolidate to let teachers off. This type of childcare could be hard on children who find comfort in having the same teacher day after day, and find comfort in expecting the same routine everyday.
Childcare centers usually offer age appropriate curriculum and not a lot, if any, screen time. A lot of centers also have transportation vehicles that can take your children to nearby schools, and on field trips etc… Childcare centers tend to be more expensive then some other care options and most childcare centers accept sate assistance for monthly payments. Overall, childcare learning centers can provide great care for your little ones depending on their daily needs!
In-Home Childcare Learning/Daycare Facility
In-home learning/daycare facilities are a great option for childcare. They are a legal, licensed business and like childcare centers these in-home facilities require state lisences and and are required to follow USDA food program guidelines along with having specific child-to-teacher ratios. Some in-home daycares offer learning programs, but they are not required to, so you would need to inquire about whether they offer a pre-school type program or not if that is something you are intereseted in. In-home childcare facilities are just that, someone providing lisenced care for your child in their home so you need to feel comfortable knowing the teachers husband or kids that could be coming and going throughout the day.
Not all in-home daycares or created equal! Each and every home daycare is different (where many daycare centers are run the same). Home daycare owners get to write their own rules, set their own daily schedules, and run their business as they seem fit (keeping all state standards in line of course!) With that in mind, home daycare owners tend to be more flexible. For example if you need to drop off your children before they are open, they might be willing to open sooner for you. It may take some patience finding the right home daycare for your family. Families that tend to prefer this type of childcare often like a more relaxed and comfortable setting. The kids prefer stability and find enjoyment in playing with the same kids daily. Knowing the teacher is usually there from open-close is also very appealing to many families! In-home daycares are average when it comes to cost and some accept state assistance as well. In-home childcare facilities are definatly worth looking into depending on the list of childcare requirements for your family!
Hiring a nanny is another option. When hiring a nanny you are becoming a boss. You dictate what is allowed in your house and set up guidlines you expect the nanny to follow. You will also need to set up the correct documents to make sure all taxes are being payed and you may also want to have your nanny sign a contract of some type. If you are wanting to hire a nanny without doing all of this, you can easily go through an agency as well. There are many ways to find a nanny, make sure you do your research and always do a back-ground check that includes their driving history if they will be driving with your little ones! Having a nanny is convient, you dont have to pack the kids up every morning and get them off to daycare, they come to you! Your kids are in the comfort of their own home and can keep to their daily schedules. However, kids can get bored at home alone with a nanny, and a nanny can even become bored with the kids as well.
It is important to be a great communicator. You will need to communicate all expectations you have for your household when you are not there, everything from meals to daily activities and any extra responsibilies you want to give your nanny. Having a nanny can be great for all kinds of families! You may think paying a nanny is the most expensive form of childcare, and it certainly can be depending on your location and families needs. However, you are also in charge of how much you pay your nanny and when you pay them. Again, you get to be the boss and find the perfect “employee” that fits all of your families needs! When you are searching for childcare hiring a nanny could be a great benefit if they meet all of your childcare needs!
There are so many great things about professional childcare! You should feel comfortable every day when you drop your kids off knowing you considered all of your options and found the best fit for your family! I loved my daughters daycare teacher, she became a friend and mother figure to my daughter and myself! After moving and having a second baby we said a very tearful good bye to our Miss. Kim.
When I was ready to go back to work we found a nanny and she has been with our family for over a year now. She is just that, part of the family! We are so grateful for the personal and professional care our children recieve. It hasn’t been easy finding these women (I toured over 15 childcare centers before enrolling my daughter at the in-home daycare I did. I also reviewed close to 30 applicants and interviewed many potential nannies before hiring one!) I wish you and your family the best of luck in finding the right childcare fit!