Childcare Options: Pros and Cons
In-home childcare involves hiring a caregiver to take care for your children in your own home. It is considered to be one of the best types of care for children under three years old.
Children remain in familiar surroundings and are not exposed to the illnesses of other children. This type of childcare may give your child a greater sense of security. In addition, you also have the opportunity to check in on or observe your children freely. What's more, no transportation is necessary.
In-home care can be one of the most expensive types of childcare. In addition, if the caregiver is late or sick, you will have to make other arrangements. As children get older, they may lack the interaction with other children that they need for proper social development.
Family daycare is provided by individual caregivers in their own homes. Some, but not all, family daycares are licensed by local authorities. A small family childcare home may provide care for up to 6 or 8 children. A large family childcare home may provide care for up to 12 or 14 children.
Usually, family daycare offers children a more intimate setting, smaller groups of children and a more familiar, homelike environment. This option also allows siblings to be together. Special requests and flexible scheduling are more likely. Finally, family daycare is usually cheaper than most types of daycare.
The childcare provider is often alone all day for long days without relief. In addition, family childcare providers are not always licensed and some may not have an early childhood education background. Do your research well before selecting this type of childcare.
There are five types of group childcare. Private childcare centers, workplace childcare, cooperative childcare, nonprofit childcare, and chain centers.
- Private childcare: Private daycare involves childcare outside the licensee's own home and is usually located in commercial buildings. Daycare centers are facilities dedicated to providing childcare to larger groups of children. They take in a fairly large range of ages, usually from infants through preschoolers.
- Workplace or Corporate childcare: Workplace/corporate childcare centers are provided by employers at the workplace. Studies show that when employers provide daycare, employee moral, productivity, and retention improves.
- Cooperative childcare: Cooperative childcare is daycare run by a group of parents who hire staff to care for their children. This allows parents to decide what services are provided and which childcare providers are hired.
- Nonprofit childcare: Nonprofit daycare is usually for low income families and is funded by government agencies and private donations.
- Chain centers: Chain centers offer standardized programs and curriculum for children. They are growing rapidly and are profit oriented.
Group daycare is very dependable. The programs are usually well organized and structured. In most cases, the staff is usually trained or educated in early childhood development. In addition, group daycare must be licensed and licensed daycare providers are monitored by the government.
While group care itself is dependable, the rate of staff turnover may be high. The hours of group daycare is usually less flexible than other types of daycare. Another disadvantage is that children may be exposed to more illnesses in group daycare.
In brief, there are a wide variety of daycare options to fit your budget and schedule, as well as your child's needs. Whichever daycare option you choose, be sure to research your options and run your own background checks on any provider you choose.