Why choose home day care?
Hopefully, any person caring for children has the priority of learning about your child as an individual and providing him/her with the best care possible. However, in my opinion, there are distinct advantages to choosing a quality home day care setting over a child care center. A quality home child care setting allows your child get the individual attention he/she needs. Often times, for the sake of money or convenience, administrators in child care centers stop thinking about individual attention, and children become commodities. Child care center ratios are dictated based on money and are about what is easy and efficient. On any given day, classrooms of children may be combined to save money on payroll costs, and I’ve heard many stories of centers not abiding by licensing ratio standards of adults to children. Day care centers often have high turnover rates, and child care workers are often switched from room to room based on needs for the day (needs of the center, not the children). Home day care provides the opportunity for one, consistent provider for your child. One consistent provider encourages attachment bonds that shape a child’s brain and profoundly influences their self-esteem, expectations of others, and ability to attract and maintain successful relationships. Overall, a quality home day care provider has ratios that are based on the needs of the children and provides consistent nurturing, predictability, as well as individual attention.
Consider the many other advantages to choosing home day care:
- Parents are provided with the benefit of being able to form a personal relationship with their child’s care provider. This allows parents to comfortably express to the provider their preferences in how they want their child cared for, whether it’s in relation to naps, nutrition, potty training, and everything in between. This relationship not only leads to individually tailored care for the child, but lends to frequent communication between parent and provider. The parent and provider team together to successfully raise a child.
- Home day care offers a homey environment where less chaos and lots of attention and hugs are part of the norm. This is in sharp contrast to a day care centers which, no matter how child-friendly you make them, still seem busy, institutional, and have higher adult-to-child ratios.
- Siblings can spend their days together rather than being separated from each other due to age.
- Home day care often provides more flexibility around drop-off and pick-up times and are less likely to charge parents for every minute they are late! Home providers may also be more flexible with parents only needing part-time care.
- Home day cares tend to close for fewer holidays than day care centers.
- A home day care setting will no doubt have less children than a commerical child care center. Less children equals less germs! In addition, since care is being provided in the provider’s own home, she may be more likely to clean and disinfect, since the day care also serves as her own family’s living and eating areas.
- Due to the smaller setting of a home day care (hence much more access to adult attention) and mixed age group (as opposed to centers who separate children based on age), I have witnessed first hand the incredible language and social skills that children may develop when raised in a quality, small home care setting.
- Child turnover is low. Whereas kids may come and go based on parent satisfaction and work requirements at commercial day care settings, family child care providers tend to keep the same kids from birth until they are ready for kindergarten. This creates a loving bond between provider and child, as they participate in all the stages of a child’s early years and partner with parents to help raise a child.
- Children in a home care setting may, dependent on the programming of the day care home, receive more exposure to the outdoors and out-of-home activities. Daily programming is not dictated by a set curriculum and allows for more flexibility depending on the weather and mood of the children that day.
- The icing on the cake — home day care is often the MUCH less expensive option compared to what day care centers charge!