When the time comes to look for child care, there are a lot of things you have to consider. One of the biggest things you need to decide is the kind of child care you want. The most popular types are a daycare center or in-home daycare, commonly called family child care. There are advantages to both options, but what’s most important is that you pick the right choice for your family. Check out this overview of each child care option, as well as some pros and cons for each one.
The distinguishing factor of in-home daycare is where it is held. This option takes place in a professional caregiver’s home or residence. This is done to provide the children with a homey setting that feels familiar rather than the traditional institutional setting of a child care center. Parents usually prefer this option for younger infants and because they often find one closer to home. The ratio between caregiver and children is generally smaller, which allows your child to receive more attention and care than they would in a child care center.
Two Types of In-Home
- Family Daycare: This option is usually a group of six children or fewer, although it can vary based on state-defined ratios. The caregiver might also limit themselves to a specific age range.
- Group Daycare: Two or three caregivers usually run group daycares and accept larger groups of children. Again, specific numbers vary based on state ratios.
Daycare centers are known for their social and learning environments. These are more like an introduction to the classroom environment, and you’ll find caregivers caring for children grouped by their age. There are typically more children at a daycare center than what you’d find at an in-home daycare, but you’ll also find more caregivers. Parents often find this option safer for a few reasons. Child care centers are required to follow strict rules and regulations. The state licenses them, and the regulations usually involve caregiver-to-child ratios and health and safety regulations.
Pros and Cons for In-Home Daycare vs. Daycare Centers
Pros for Daycare Centers
- Multiple child care providers
- Licensed and inspected by the state
- Quality teachers
- Age-appropriate Curriculum
Considerations for Daycare Centers
- There might be less time for free play.
Pros for In-Home Daycare
- More attention for each child
- More affordable
- Fewer germs
- More relaxed curriculum
- Siblings can go and stay together.
Considerations for In-Home Daycare
- Fewer options for backup plans
- Not as much regulation
- Difference in philosophies
Now that you have all of this information on in-home daycare and childcare centers, you can decide which one is best for your family. The Heritage Learning Center in McKinney, TX offers award-winning preschool programs for children as young as 18 months. We’d be the perfect fit for your childcare needs! Give us a call today or visit us on Facebook for more information.