In-Home Daycare versus Daycare Centers – Pros & Cons

Choosing a daycare center for your child is certainly a big task and a stressful one for many parents. There are so many daycares out there and a mixture of in-home daycares and daycare centers that it can seem like a full time job just finding the right one for your child. However, it truly is worth the effort to find that home away from home so your child will feel comfortable while you are away. Some of the pros and cons of both centers and in home daycares will be discussed to help you make the best decision for your child.

Generally, daycare centers are required to have more licenses and the state checks up on them much more often than in home daycare centers. This means the daycare center will be required to stay on top of all requirements and will rarely fall behind.

Another benefit is daycare centers generally have low teacher to child ratios, about 1:4 sometimes more and sometimes less. You will need to ask what the child to teacher ratio is at a particular daycare you are considering.

Daycare centers also have children separated by ages. Some parents see this as a pro while others see it as a con. If you want your child in age specific groups with age specific toys then this is a pro. If you want your child mingling will all the different ages and interacting with different levels of stimulation you might find this to be a con.

Daycare centers also require higher education levels for their teaches than home based daycare centers. This is the case most of the time, but not always so make sure you check. Also, daycare centers generally have multiple teachers.

A con is at daycare sickness spreads like wildfire and kids get sick all the time. Your child might get sick once every month just from attending daycare.

Another drawback is that at daycare centers teachers may quit and leave your child attached and upset.

Home Daycare
There are also plenty of advantages and disadvantages of home daycare. Generally, the owner of the daycare is the main daycare provider and is always there. There are no worries she will quit and your child will be left with no teacher.

In general, in home daycare centers have very few kids so they all get more attention. The environment feels more like home than it does a daycare and kids have the opportunity to develop great relationships with one another and the head teacher.

Generally, home daycares have a more flexible schedule and can accommodate small childrens nap and eating schedules. Larger daycare centers are usually more rigid and require kids to adhere to the set schedule.

A drawback is the government does not regulate in home daycare centers as much as daycare centers so you dont have the comfort level of knowing all state requirements are being met and followed. Of course, most in home daycare centers meet the requirements, they just arent checked on as often and parents dont have that reassurance.

Another drawback is what happens if the lead teacher gets sick? In that case there may be nobody to cover and your child wont have daycare available that day.

Making the Decision
It can be very difficult to decide between an in home daycare and a center, but you will need to sit down and make the decision. Tour the various in home daycares and centers in your area to determine which ones seems the best for your child.

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