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Where Will You Place Your Child?

Gavin Wieske
March 30, 2015

Finding quality childcare that fits your schedule, location and hours of operation can be a major challenge for working parents. Before returning to your job, it’s prudent to starting thinking about your options soon after the baby is born. If you happen to live in a big city where childcare is in high demand, you should be considering your available opportunities even as early as your second trimester.

There are pros and cons to different types of childcare including their costs. Making the right choice for you depends on the specific needs of your child and your family.When determining which option fits your situation best, the main thing to remember is that good-quality child care provides a safe, healthy environment and supports the physical, emotional, social and intellectual development of your child. In this post, two types of child care will be examined; Child Care Center versus Home Child Care (also called Home Daycare).

Child Care Center:

Child Care centers are facilities that provide care for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and even school age children in a formal and structured environment for all or part of the day. They are inspected for licensing purposes so that they maintain an official standing. Many centers will be using child care software that can be helpful in maintaining good communication with parents. Although costs vary for this type of service, these centers can be an affordable option for working parents. A director or manager oversees the entire operation of the daycare, including the hiring and supervision of the staff.

Staff members are trained in early childhood education. They have experience and knowledge to know what to expect from a child developmentally and they are trained how to a nurture growing skills accordingly. Child Care centers are a dependable source of supervision because they have enough staff that will watch over your child regardless whether a teacher is sick or tardy. A minor drawback is that child care centers have very definite hours of operations and clear-cut rules for parents to follow.

Child Care centers include a variety of activities during the day to teach children different skills, such as singing, dancing, storytelling and projects that improve learning skills in a structured setting. Many centers will use child care software that can update parents throughout the day with information such as what their child had for lunch or morning snack, and even pictures of their children participating in various activities and excercises. Many of the instructional projects are a good mix of left brain and right brain activities, such as using simple objects like blocks, beans or vinyl letters for building and creativity. Research suggests that children in daycare centers may have an edge since they performed a little better on intellectual capabilities tests.

Home Child Care:

A home child care provider cares for children in their own home where there is a mixed age group, more closely mirroring many families. The range of ages can be advantageous since it may help your child feel more comfortable around older kids.

Many parents choose home daycare because it can be the next best thing to your own house. If you’re lucky enough to find a good provider in your neighborhood, your child will feel even more at home. Most caregivers are a parent themselves, so there is a confidence level knowing that you are leaving your child with someone who probably has a healthy dose of the parenting instinct as well as training.

Home child care rates on average are lower than a child care center and they are less likely to penalize you with added cost if you arrive late. Home daycare operators are also a lot more flexible about hours of operation. Many home daycare centers will use daycare software to help them manage flexible schedules and drop-in care that isn’t always available at child care centers. Some may include coverage for parents for evening, weekend or overnight stays. Many home daycare operators will remain open during certain holidays, which help parents who must still be on the job regardless of the holiday. This benefit saves a lot of scrabbling for alternative coverage.

Every option has its positives and negatives, so ultimately it’s up to the parent to decide which type of child care is the one that will fit their requirements.

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