In-Home versus Daycare Center: Pros and Cons

Day Care Tips

There are a variety of options available for parents looking for childcare these days. Sometimes, it seems like there are too many options! One of the main decisions for parents is whether to go with in-home care or a daycare center.

As you make this very important decision, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons. Here are some things to think about as you consider in-home care versus a daycare center.

In-Home Care: Pros

1) Convenience and flexibility are the advantages of in-home care. If the provider or nanny lives with you, she (or he) is always present, making for a great deal of flexibility on the part of the parents.

2) She might help with the housework and cooking, too.

3) Your children will get familiar with an in-home provider, and maybe more comfortable with her because they don’t have to leave their familiar surroundings.

4) A trusted in-home provider may be able to take your children on “field trips” or outings.

In-Home Care: Cons

1) In-home care tends to be more expensive than daycare, and you can’t get financial aid like you can in a daycare facility.

2) A nanny is only human, so if she gets sick or has other problems being available, you will need to have a back-up plan in place.

3) There is more paperwork involved in hiring in-home care if it’s a nanny (such as reporting her on your taxes). But a more casual arrangement may not be so paperwork-intensive.

4) Finding a qualified in-home provider can be challenging.

Daycare Center: Pros

1) Your child will be with other children in a social setting.

2) If you need financial help, it’s possible that you qualify for state or federal aid.

3) Generally speaking, daycare is more affordable than paying an individual for in-home care, even if you don’t use any financial aid.

4) The staff are trained and held accountable by a regulatory organization.

5) It may be much easier to discern credentials, qualifications, and references.

Daycare Center: Cons

1) Let’s face it – even the cleanest daycare centers are total germ factories. Having your children in a large group may mean that you’re dealing with a sick baby or child on a fairly regular basis.

2) There may be a waiting list at a reputable facility. (This is a good reason to start this search early.)

3) In a group setting, your child may not receive the individual attention you think he/she needs.

4) You will need to transport your child to and from the daycare center, which may get difficult depending on your work hours.

Hopefully, this list has helped you as you consider the best childcare options for your family.

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