Price – I have heard from many mom’s centers are just too expensive, but are they really? I have two points I want to make about cost, so stick with me! A home daycare may seem cheaper, however, take into consideration overall spend. Here’s one of your scenarios: Your in-home provider needs to have a sick day for herself or maybe her own children. Let’s guess that may amount to 4 days a year (likely more) that is cost out of your income and money out. If you make $16 an hour those 4 days she must take costs your family $512, not including the day you will likely have to pay her for anyway even though it was HER sick day! If that is the case let’s figure you pay $30 a day x 4 days that’s $120. $632 a year minimum! Divided that over 12 months and that may be the difference in center vs. home depending on the community you reside. Add those 4 days you must take off to your sick days, your kids sick days... and will you still have a job? Next, many in home daycare's do not give vacation days. When they or your family takes vacation days YOU still pay. Add those dollars out to the above and I bet you have your in-home cost covered, possibly plus some.
Safety – Did you know that 60% of daycare deaths occur in an in-home setting? I don’t believe I need to say more, but I will. Do you know who is coming in and out of the home when you are not there? Probably not. Centers offer door entry passwords so every entry is accounted for.
Documentation – I am consistently signing something. I know day in and day out the complete breakdown of the day. If I question something everyone is an advocate for me to find out what I am asking.
Consistency - You will know Monday-Friday you have childcare, whether someone is sick or not your daycare center coordinator has your back. You will not need to call in due to sickness, unless it’s your child. At a center, several employees are available to watch the kids, and to watch the other employees. Centers are single purpose organizations, meaning their only job is to care for the children at the center. Side note: Centers are usually open earlier and close later.
Socialization – In a center your child in sectioned by age range ensuring your child is interacting with kids of their own age. This is important because learning from older children sometimes goes over well, but a center insures safety in this respect.
Structure - Children develop best when they know what is next. Expect most centers to scheduled have play times, craft times, reading times, lunch, breakfast and snack times, bathroom times, nap times, and so forth. Allowing your child to know what to expect in what’s coming next. Different activities around the same schedule. Did you know that statistics show 34% of an in-home providers day consists of the day doing their own household needs, such as laundry, paying bills, caring for their own children?
For the Love of Children – I personally found it very difficult to determine which home provider what merely a home care provider because she wanted to stay home with her own children, not because she loved and wanted to care for others. Something I find interesting about childcare centers is ladies that work for centers many times could go and flip burgers for more money, but to me that tells me that this isn't just a job for them. They are at a center because they want to be. <3 in their work.
Education - Something you may not know is in the State of Minnesota head teachers at childcare centers need 16 semester credits of approved courses. Sciences and math do not count. You will find teachers from the center you choose have sociology, psychology, child development courses and so much more. Your center teachers also need a certain amount of experience hours that fluctuate between 1040 hours and 4160 depending on the schooling or degree. This doesn’t end there, full-time teachers and aides need 16-42 hours of continuing education hours each year as well.
Making Your Experience Personal – I have been told home daycares feel more personal or like a family. I believe the experience is what you make it. I enjoy getting to know the ladies taking care of my children, you are the one that controls how much you want your provider to know outside of the care they provide. Truth is we are all people, we all enjoy engaging with others to a certain point. When someone spends time with your child every day they learn to love and care for your child(ren). Take time with them and they will take time with you.
Sickness – Are daycare children exposed to more sickness? Yes, there are studies on this but many do not hone down to in-home vs. centers. Many focus on exposure overall daycare's. Typically, it boils down to stay at home vs. daycare. Either choice has its consequences. Exposing a child to viruses at young ages means having a sick child at a time when airways are tiny, and symptoms such as diarrhea can dehydrate. For older children, frequently staying home sick could negatively affect their learning. I choose to build immunities.