Choosing which type of child care is the right fit for babies and toddlers can be a hard decision for parents to make. It is hard to leave little ones with others not knowing how they are going to react to someone else caring for them. It is equally difficult to put trust in people that may have only been met a few times to properly care for babies and toddlers. That is why knowing what to expect from all types of child care offered can help parents to make the decision-making process a bit easier, especially if there is a guide to reference that compares the child care options out there.
When parents make the decision to put their children into one form of child care or another, they are entrusting those people to step in and care for little ones like they were their own. And while most child care providers do the jobs they do is because they love children, it is the horror stories that are focused on that stick with parents. Part of which makes choosing a childcare provider much more stressful.
But when the right one is found, the transition between being parented by parents and the provider is nearly seamless. Making for a beneficial situation for all involved.
Here is a guide for comparing child care options.
Home-Based Child Care
With the costs of child care on the rise, home-based child care or home daycare has been growing in popularity, according to Wonderschool. This seems to be especially true for those parents who have younger children and are not comfortable placing them in a larger childcare facility but instead like the idea of a cozier home environment instead.
Home-based child care is great for those who like a smaller setting, like where there are fewer children in a setting at one time, and that hours may be more flexible than other child care options. But with there being a stigma of providers sitting kids in front of the television all day, parents may not be sure what they are getting themselves into with this type of care.
Per the publication, parents can expect home-based child care to care for children in ways that include:
- Individualized care given in most homes will not have more than six children at one time
- Regular routines for meals and naptimes can be made that are tailored to each child
- Individualized care lets childcare providers assist with developmental skills being honed
- Kids will not be separated by age meaning siblings can stay together
Parents will want to make sure that providers have had CPR training, state-mandated training, and licensing to run a daycare out of the home, according to Wonderschool. This ensures that babies and toddlers are safe as can be when in the care of another.
Child Care Centers
Child care centers have a much larger group of children that are watched by staff. With kids being separated by age, the needs of those age groups are specifically targeted. And with there being requirements for training and credentials to work in a childcare center, staff are generally highly skilled.
According to Precious Lambs Early Learning & Childcare, the care that parents can anticipate from larger child care centers includes:
- Curriculum to be taught
- Larger child-to-student ratios
- Less tailored learning for each child but activities that are more group-oriented
It is necessary to ask questions before deciding on a child care center as well, per the publication. Those questions include:
- What the turnover rate is
- Flexibility in hours
- If snacks are included in tuition or if they need to be provided
- What philosophy is in the curriculum to see if it meets the needs of the child
There are lots to consider when choosing a child care facility. And when a match is made, it alleviates a mountain of stress from parents’ shoulders.
Hiring A Nanny
For those parents who are looking for an extension of themselves and the care they provide their babies and toddlers, hiring a nanny may be the route to go when looking for child care.
According to Morningside Nanniesthe type of care that nannies provide includes:
- Consistent caregiving with one-on-one time around the clock
- Care that is customized to that of the child being watched
- Activities for learning and social skills
- Nannies work into the environment of the home versus babies and toddlers fitting into regulations of daycare
- Children can still be watched when ill, meaning parents do not have to call in
Whether an agency or word of mouth is how a nanny is being hired, it is always necessary to do due diligence and speak to the former families about the care provided. It will give good insight whether the nanny is a good fit for the family or not.
For those who have family living nearby, there may be the luxury of grandparents or other family members watching kids while parents are at work. But just because they are family does not mean they will parent the same. Something that will have to be discussed if family care is the route chosen.
According to VeryWell Family, What parents should know before choosing family care includes:
- Family may expect compensation, especially if they are watching kids with consistency
- Activities will need to be planned so that family members and young children alike can participate in
- Family members will need to be given authority to care for kids. Something that will need to be discussed ahead of time to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Family members may not clean the way a nanny would
- Infants and toddlers will be very comfortable being left with their family
- It may be necessary to go over basics such as feeding a bottle or changing diapers
- There may be appointments that older family members may need to go to that forces parents to call out for work
There are benefits to all types of childcare. It all boils down to which is the right type of care for each family.
Source: Wonderschool, Precious Lambs Early Learning & Childcare, Morningside Nannies, VeryWell Family