In home daycare vs. child daycare center

Jana - posted on 06/17/2010 ( 74 moms have responded )

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Hello I am new to the group and am so glad to have other working moms to discuss questions and concerns I have. I am a first time mom to a 9 month old little girl. She currently goes to our church daycare center, and I love that she is there and she loves going too. Financially though, my husband and I trying to justify and figure out how to pay that much for daycare. I just recently found out there is an opening at a friend of a friends in home daycare and it is much cheaper. I just want to know what are some of your opinions (pros and cons) of both?? Thanks in advance for any opinions.

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Ana - posted on 12/21/2012

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Hello, I am a home daycare provider. I like to read in on these types of forums because it helps me get a better understanding of the concerns of parents that have children in home day cares. I would like to shed some light on the subject of home daycare vs daycare centers.
I use to work in a daycare center before I started my home daycare, so I'm knowledgeable of both. But more knowledgeable about home day cares. First of all as a mom, I would choose both, but at different ages and for different reasons. When a child is younger, from infancy until around age 2 or 3, I would choose a home daycare. When children are younger they need more attention and more assistance. Home day cares can give them that attention because they have fewer kids. Secondly, when they are younger most of them are use to being at home with just mom and dad or maybe grandma, so taking them from a small environment where they are use to getting all of the attention to the large classroom environment of a day care center could be too much for them to handle. Smaller home day care environments work much better. Finally, the younger children are, the more expensive daycare is, especially before they are potty trained. Home day cares are definitely less expensive. When a child gets closer to school age, I think day care centers are better. As kids get older most tend to require a little less attention and can therefore handle the transition from a small one on one environment to a larger environment much easier. Secondly, most home daycare providers are just that, providers, not teachers. Most are trained to give your child basic care, but they are not trained to educate them. As children get older they need to be prepared for school. Daycare centers have trained teachers that are trained to educate your child. And daycare environments are closer to actual school class room environments. In addition, because day care centers have more staff, and more money, there are a lot more activities. Let me tell you, this is major as they get older! Home day cares are very limited in this area because of staffing, money and space. All in all, I would say they are both equally as good for your child. But either way you go you need to do your homework. And you need to be observant.

When choosing home day cares there are 3 types. 1) Those that operate under a license, those that operate under a permit and those that don't operate under either one.

Licensed home day cares are regulated by the state. Everyone that lives in the home has undergone criminal back ground searches by the state. They are CPR and First Aid certified. Their homes have been inspected for such things as fire hazards, child safety, hot water temperatures(burn safety), refrigerator temperatures(food freshness), age appropriate toys, sanitation, equipment safety(cribs, playpens, swings, slides etc), age appropriate toys, .and much, much more! They also have regular unannounced inspections. And are required to obtain 10- 16 educational credits per year.

Permitted Home Day Cares are not regulated by the state. They are regulated by the county the home day care is located in. They have to follow most of the same guide lines as licensed home day cares but not all of them, which means fewer regulations, and therefore fewer forms to fill out. I don't know about you, but for me, the more paper work, the better. Permitted day cares aren't allowed to care for as many children as licensed day cares. In Northern VA, licensed home day cares can care for up to 12 children including their own. Permitted day cares can only care for up to 5 children including their own. Permitted day cares also have fewer inspections, which means less accountability.

Non licensed and Non permitted Home Day cares are those that are under no state or county regulations at all. They pretty much run their own show. These are just your typical everyday babysitters. They are not CPR and First Aid certified. No background checks have been performed, and no safety regulations are being enforced. Believe it or not, there are a lot of these types of home day cares in operation. Why would parents choose to keep their child in a home that is under no type of regulation at all? It's mostly because they don't know and they don't know because they don't ask. The 3 main deciding factors for most parents in choosing child care are: the location, the cleanliness, appearance and set up of the house, and the price. If these 3 things meet parents satisfaction, you will be surprised how many don't bother asking about license at all.

Home Day Care Tips
1) Ask them if they are licensed. Demand to see the license. Look at it to make sure they actually have one and make sure it says "license and not "permit". Look at it to make sure it's current and look at the capacity so you will know how many children they are allowed to care for.
2) When you drop your child off or pick them up, count to see how many kids are there and does it go over the capacity of the number on the license, including their own kids. This is very important and a big problem in home day cares. If there are too many children, report it and remove your child immediately. Why? Being within capacity is a big thing with the state, and it is also a big problem. Too many providers are over capacity, you read about it all the time in the news. If they are over capacity that means there are too many children in the home for the amount of space they have. Also, if a provider breaks this rule, which is a major one, they are probably breaking many more. You don't want your child in the care of someone who doesn't comply with regulations.
3) Ask for references with phone numbers and actually call.
4) Ask for resumes, and experience history WITH PHONE NUMBERS. And check them out. There are a lot of false resumes out there. Do your homework!
5) Ask if pop up visits during the day are ok. If not, ask why. This could be a red flag.
6) Don't just drop your child off and pick them up at the door, go in the house. Be observant.
7) Talk to other parents you meet during drop off and pick up. Exchange phone numbers.
8) Look to see if children bring things home like arts and craft projects, learning handouts. Let's you know how they spend their time during the day.
9) Inspect where they play inside and out and what they play with. Are the toys age appropriate. Are there enough toys for the number of kids they have. Is there adequate space for the number of kids they have to play and move around in.
9) Talk to your kids about their day. Ask questions like: What did you do today? What did you eat today? What did you watch on TV(lets you know how long they've been sitting in front of the TV). Do you like your provider? Did you go outside? Does the provider yell at you? Does the provider hit you? YES!! ask these questions. Did anyone visit you all today?(important, you want to know who else is coming around your child during the day) You will be surprised how much information you can get from your children if you just ask. I know some children are too young to answer such questions. That's when you have to use other measures. But the key is, get all the information you can about how your child spends their day and the type of person that's caring for your child. Your child is worth it. I am willing to help you choose a good provider in any way I can. I have been in this business for over 25 years. There isn't too much I don't know about it. Feel free to email me at awilliams123@verizon.net if you have any more questions. God Bless You!!

Veronika - posted on 07/19/2013

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I am a licensed home childcare provider and a parent. I worked at a large center for five years before starting my family childcare. I was a head teacher and program coordinator… but the hours I had to put in took away from my family so I resigned. The number one problem with centers, no matter how great they are, is staff turnover. Children bond with and look to their teacher/caregiver for reassurance and peace of mind when they are away from their parents. When a caregiver leaves, children have to make those connections all over again with a new caregiver… that takes time and energy away from their daily activities, routines, and learning progress. In a home childcare setting, you can be sure you will always have the same childcare provider with your child through there durations of your child's stay. Look for a provider who has gone not just through the licensing process but also has early childhood education units, at least the required 12 core units, or more. Also look for a caregiver who,(in California anyhow) has received an early childhood education permit. These are required of all center based teachers, but many childcare providers are taking the extra steps and becoming educated in child development. I know I would not leave my child at any home childcare where the provider did not have the state issued permit that tells me they have taken classes and actually are invested in the field of childcare. I have an associates degree in early childhood and a facility directors permit. If I can do it working 12 hours a day and caring for my family… I don't see why other caregivers can't rise to the same standards. Caring for children is not a sit around and watch your kids job! Early care done the right way give children a strong foundation for future learning experiences.

Ana - posted on 01/01/2013

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How does she know whether your son is autistic? Is she trained to know this? I have had a home day care for over 25 years and that is not something we are trained to know. I would never tell a parent their child is autistic. It is definitely time to get him out of there Nicole. In the meantime, maybe you should consider getting him a tutor. There are a lot of teenagers and young adults that tutor children. Here is a website you can checkout for tutors in your area.
Just click the drop down menu and select tutors and then enter your zip code. You can also find baby sitters on this website. Good Luck!
http://www.sittercity.com/search-sitters...

[deleted account]

I think that home daycare is a better concept and more nurturing to small children as opposed to a school environment. I also think they need more facilities that are not a private home but a regular daycare center to provide a more nurturing homelike environment. it should be a standard for kids 0-6 years of age.

Lauren - posted on 07/21/2011

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I like the flexibility of an in home day care! Also my kids have not been sick as much as some of our friends kids that go to daycare centers. I do agree that once they get older it may be beneficial to go to a "center," but my son is 4 and has gone to an in home day care since he was 9 weeks old. I found a pre-school that took him as young as 3 and he went there 4 days a week last year and he will go again this year. The one that I found is free so that is an added bonus! In the end though you have to be comfortable on where you kids go and your gut will tell you!

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Nicole - posted on 01/01/2013

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Ana I am looking at finding another care giver my current home daycare made an accusation my son has autism but I have looked at the signs and the signs that I have read when I have my son he doesn't show he is very smart just that he might be behind because of course when you don't work with kids like circle time or on their colors like a normal daycare they are going to be behind

Ana - posted on 01/01/2013

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Nicole your problem is very common. At your son's age a preschool would definitely be better. But I know they can be very expensive. Has your son been in the same home day care since he was three? If so, that could be your problem. If one home day isn't doing it's job, then you should move them to another. There are many, and some are better than others. You have to do some research. Even though most home day care providers are not teachers, they should still be at least working with your son on the basic things he needs to know to start kindergarten. You don't need to be a teacher to do that. If they haven't I would look for another home day care. After you find one, ask for references. Call the references and ask the parents whether the provider worked with their child's skills. Try to call as many as you can. Let the provider know this is something that's very important to you and something you will be monitoring. Since he will be starting kindergarten soon you don't have a lot of time, but late is better than never. Good Luck!

Nicole - posted on 01/01/2013

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Problem I am facing being a single mom is I have my son who is 5 and been in in home daycare since he was 3 but realize now I have a problem because he is 5 and is babyish he is behind on potty training because I work with him but the in home day care doesn't and right now financial situation all I can afford right now. Also the in home daycare doesn't work with his skills as much as I do when I am at home and not at work.

Ana - posted on 12/21/2012

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Sorry! I'm the home day care provider that posted above. I forgot to include my name. It's Ann. It's my first time posting here!

Julia - posted on 11/21/2012

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I've had this exact problem with both my kids now. I actually went from a home based daycare to a daycare centre in a church. My personal experience with the home daycare was horrible. My daughter was being neglected. The breaking point was when my husband showed up there at lunch one day, and there were about 14 kids to one lady, and my daughter was strapped in a highchair crying. I know this is not everyone's experience, but I was not willing to take the chance again. Now we are paying to have both kids in the centre, because we know that guidelines are being followed. We decided living poor for a few years and having the peace of minds that our kids were okay was worth it. I know its a really hard decision to make though, because if you find the right home daycare it could work out just as well. Good luck!!

Heather - posted on 11/20/2012

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I would say depending on the person they can be great. We were blessed to find my in home daycare lady when we did. My son was 2 at the time and in a daycare class with 22 children and 2 teachers. My husband and I watched and the two girls could not handle that many children. My son was not progressing well and throwing lots of tantrums because he saw other children do it. We met her at Walmart and visited. He did so much better in a smaller environment with older children. His imagination blossomed and he made friends. When my daughter was born my sitter came to visit her in the hospital and she got to know her as I picked up my son. I like that they are together and Bubba can look out for her and tell me if something is wrong. I will mention that my daughter is picky who she likes and she loves her sitter. She doesn't cry when I leave her.



You do have the cons of having to find childcare in a hurry when they are sick but we have family we can call. My work also offers backup childcare so I can call a number that day and get them into a center for only $20 a day. She is lower priced than daycare, we like the smaller ratio for my son and he has friends his age. (He is 4, our area's prek is income based) And she works 1 on 1 with him on crafts and his numbers and letters. So I am all for in home childcare but I know some caregivers are not as great as mine. So you have to be careful.

Patricia - posted on 11/19/2012

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It depends. If there aren't a lot of kids in the home day care your child may get more attention. At such a young age, concerns are making sure she gets her diaper changed timely, well fed and attention. When they get to the toddler age, two and up I preferred the formal child care setting. My kids went to a religious day care center as well and it was a very positive environment where they learned how to interact well and good habits. The education they received was also more advanced. My kids were already reading by preschool.

Marilyn - posted on 11/13/2012

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Be mindful the carer may require some foods not to be brought in their house if they are halal only.Very cheap for baby sitting until they need meaningful play in getting child ready for school.

The downside is the accountability is limited ,no incident forms or clear picture of yo child's day from someone else's persperctive.

I used it for 8 months whilst waiting for day care place,was okay,wouldn't do it again even though 150 dollars less than day care for a week.

Good luck:)

Dianne - posted on 11/13/2012

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We have had our daughter in both in home and at a center. Centers are more expensive, but you get what you pay for. Our daughter has been going since she was a toddler, and is now doing the full day kindergarden program there. the ratios for a center are different them in-home. For infants it's 1:4, preschool 1:10 and schoolage 1:15. even with as much as we pay, we wouldn 't pull her out. They have done a fantastic job teaching her over the years!

Nicole - posted on 11/06/2012

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I have tired having a friend babysit my oldest when he was born, I had to work, I thought ok wow, this saves us a lot of money. I had him there a few months before i went to a real day care. The mother in the house would smoke, my son's things were always smelling like smoke. I love the daycare we take out kids to. I think that it really depends on how the in home daycare is ran and how the daycare you take them to is ran. We have been at our daycare for over 5 years with our two children. I think that if you can find a great in home daycare that does what a school does, you are better off there. But you also have to think about if something else happens to the person running it, you have no daycare. My sister does in home daycare and went thru a few people before she found a good one. I personally love my sons daycare. They teach both of them so much, are 24/7 in any case. You need to find a way to make it work for you. Daycare is very expensive, it sucks sometimes.

Amy - posted on 11/05/2012

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I've enjoyed having my daughter in an in-home daycare for the cost and the indivdualized attention. A huge drawback for me is when my provider goes on vacation, is sick, or has an emergency and all of a sudden I lose my childcare for a week or more. This has happened multiple times over the last few months and them I am scrambling to rearrange my work schedule or pleading with people to help me out. Since she just turned 3, I am seriously considering looking for a preschool to put her in.

April - posted on 11/02/2012

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I have two kids, one 8 months old and one 7 years old. My 7 year old was in day care from the time he was 6 weeks old until he started school. I have been blessed to be a full time work at home mom for the last 18 months so my experience with my second child has been much different. When I was working outside the home I tried both day cares and in home. There are pros and cons. With the day care I paid regardless if my child went or not, that is usually the policy. You pay by week regardless of holidays that the schools are closed, etc. With in home they usually only charge the days that the kids are there. What I did not like about in home was that I could get a call 5 minutes before I was to leave to go to work that their kids were sick and I could not bring my child by which is stressful to have to call into work like that. In the end my oldest attended a Montessori school but it was much more expensive than an in-home situation. I paid $925 a month for Chase to be at the Montessori school but he was much happier and so was I so no regrets. Good luck with your decision and it may take some trial and error before you find the perfect fit for your family xoxoxoxo

User - posted on 11/02/2012

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Oh I also have a dedicated room that is my main child care room to ensure my learning environment and I would never just use my living room or dining room as that wouldn't allow for proper educational toys or learning opportunities.

Reeseshomechildcare.org if your curious to see some pics of my space

User - posted on 11/02/2012

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Wow a lot of responses and I'm getting from them that most used non licensed homes or states don't require checks for home child cares. Oklahoma requires you to be licensed and we have the same rules as centers but less of a ratio. Our state visits 4-5 times a year and so does food program which monitors health and safety of food prep. I am a home child care and charge more than centers in my area due to what I offer. I make my own baby food, no pre made foods, offer a creative movement class at dance studio, have a curriculum that is play based, natural playscape backyard, college education, and on and on. My clients know what my days off will be a year at a time every January and most are holidays they would have off anyway. I have great corporate families who have researched all their options. I know every state is different and city for that matter and some states/cities you will find centers will offer a more rounded program but in others like my area my home based program offers a better environment and is tailored to each group of children and families I have so each group is successful in its own right.

Communication is to me one of the top three things to look for. I create lesson plans that correlate to our states Early Learning Standards and tie them back to the activities which are offered and directed. Newsletters, daily emails and documentation of my curriculum and environment are just some of the information parents receive.

With that being said research your area but don't assume a home will just place kids in front of tv or that homes are not run by a college educated professional. Homes are not always a cheaper choice either as in order to provide quality care the provider is responsible for putting at least half of the income generated into the program to make it successful and offer the best possible environment for all ages. Good luck and I'm sorry so many of you had bad experiences with home child cares that makes me sad to hear my profession is not received as a professional service. My families keep their children with me from birth to 4 when they go to school and some I have before and after school. I Contract with families a year in advance to ensure their child can grow up in my care and environment and not have to have several caregivers over the years.

Danielle - posted on 10/19/2012

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If u know and trust this person, I would go with the home daycare. My daughter went to one for her first year of life and we loved it!

User - posted on 10/09/2012

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I find myself in the same predicament.. I took some time off when I had my son, I went back to work about 5 months ago and he has been staying with a relative while i work. I am doing so much research on Day cares in home and centers, to be honest I want to rip my hair out. I am so nervous and have never really felt right about either. I am very protective of my son, who just turned 2 in July. I know he is getting older and I need to let him spread his wings a little, For some reason my gut tells me a Center would be better, I feel it would be harder for them to hide anything. A huge concern of mine is illness, toddlers are always sick. What do you other moms think? In home day care or a center?

Gina - posted on 09/07/2012

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I visited several homebased daycares and found that many of them are just as crowded or more so than centers, many of these homebased places take on more children than they can handle, are often short staffed and get away with it because they don't have the rigid supervision that centers have. Some of the things I saw and didn't like at licensed homebased daycares included one house where the family dog (a terrier) ran around amongst the children, another place had a swimming pool, although it was fenced I still didn't like the idea of my child playing anywhere near a pool, another place was very cramped and a large group of children were in a tiny living room where the main attraction was watching TV due to the lack of space and educational toys,,,the list of things I didn't like goes on.



At centers, the children have plenty of safe spacious room to play and learn, and although it may seem like more children it's actually the same amount of attention because they break them into groups according to age with one or two assigned caregivers. Also most centers operate on schedules designed to promote learning and good habits, and the workers are less likely to slack because they are under strict supervision.

Amy - posted on 07/25/2011

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My son goes to an in home daycare and I love it. Mainly because I love the lady that watches him. I think they get more one on one attention this way depending on the adult to child ratio. You should do what is best for you and your child.

Lauren - posted on 07/21/2011

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I like the flexibility of an in home day care! Also my kids have not been sick as much as some of our friends kids that go to daycare centers. I do agree that once they get older it may be beneficial to go to a "center," but my son is 4 and has gone to an in home day care since he was 9 weeks old. I found a pre-school that took him as young as 3 and he went there 4 days a week last year and he will go again this year. The one that I found is free so that is an added bonus! In the end though you have to be comfortable on where you kids go and your gut will tell you!

Nicole - posted on 07/19/2011

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The fact that your daughter had that many kids is indicative of one bad center, not all of them. Don't know where you live, but here in Canada daycares are heavily regulated and at that age they cannot have more than 6 kids to a worker. I have had both dayhome and daycare and both were good, but daycare was much more structured, my kids learned more and were exposed to more things (culture, activities, foods etc) and if a worker is sick, there are other. With dayhome anytime she was sick I had to use a vacation day, which sucked.

Jessica - posted on 06/05/2011

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I had my son in an in home daycare and he loved it the groups are smaller 1 adult to 4 kids instead of 1 adult to 10 kids so they get more one on one time. They are still in a nurturing environment with trained supervisors that have support through which ever provider you use. I was with anglican care with my boy and then did some training to be an in home carer through barnardos :) Some in home childcare services do playgroup visits once a week so your child will benefit from that too.

I can't really think of a downside to in home daycare other than the fact that the supervisors aren't as well trained as daycare teachers are. However you are able to interview a few before you place your child in that home.

Hope this helps

Shundra - posted on 02/28/2011

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I am a home daycare provider and my rates, compare to a center is much cheaper also. I try to work with my parents, single or marry.

Angela - posted on 01/26/2011

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We've done both - an in-home care and now a center. While I loved the in-home provider and she was much cheaper, either she or her kids were constantly sick, so she was constantly closing. It became a huge problem for me and my husband. She closed for two weeks once and we had to scramble to find someone to watch our daughter. That's why we moved her to the center where both of our girls are now. They're fabulous there and more expensive, but they're more reliable and (for the 2 year-old, especially) more structured than the in-home care was. She's learned a ton in the year and a half she's been there and I'm not a stressball wondering if I'm going to get a phone call at 6 a.m. letting me know that they're closed. They haven't closed once since we've been there.

Monica - posted on 01/24/2011

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You have to do what's right your you and your're family. We chose in home day care. My daughter, who is now 9 was in a day center from 1-3 years of age. (we were lucky to have her grandma help out) and while we loved it, it was too costly and she got a sick a lot. The SAHM who watches our son has two young kids (2 & 4) and watches two other kids. She keeps it small. Doesnt do it for the money, but loves kids. My son has hardly gotten sick in the two years that he's been there. He loves going there. She is much more flexible than a day care when you pay for the days even i they are not there. We only pay her when he's there. Since my husband gets 4 weeks of vacation and I get three, this is a huge bonus and saves us tons of money.

The only con I see is that when she goes out of town (which is only once or twice per year) we have to make other arrangements of take off work. Or when her or her kids are sick, or if she cancells on the last minute, it's a pain. However it's only happened I think twice per year so not too bad. All in all, when weighing out the pros and cons, home day care saves us tons of money and my son is really happy. She has also been xtremely flexible when we needed her to take an extra day or adjust hours. Day care center would not be as flexible.

Even though she did not have "lesson plans" per say like a daycare, she reads with them and teaches them a lot. My son is very bright for his age. Hope this helps

DeVonda - posted on 01/24/2011

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It really depends on the center and the home. I operate a home based daycare. I have a preschool curriculum, take the kids on field trips, etc. I have experience and training both, and I get a lot of referrals to my daycare. You really just need to ask the appropriate questions for both places and go visit.

Honey - posted on 07/08/2010

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I don't post much, but this is one subject that I feel very strongly about. I have 3 children (10 months, 6, and 8). My older 2 were in a child care center when they were infants, but it got to the point it was $250/week for them and I just couldn't afford it anymore. So, I found a in home daycare. She didn't advertise, but I did find her on the states registered website (always a must). I went to her home and it appeared clean and she had a huge den with lots of things for the children to do. So I switched. The worst decision I ever made!! Not long after they started going there, she let her license lapse, saying they're was too much paperwork involved in keeping it up. I always took her word for what she was feeding the children and what activities they were doing - I shouldn't have. At the time I was going through a messy divorce, with no child support, and could barely afford her reduced rates. She said she had a pre-school curriculum she did with the children - NOT. When my oldest went for her kindergarten assessment, she was no where near ready. Partly my fault, since I hadn't worked with her, but I thought that is what I was paying the homecare worker for. I remarried in that few years they were there and when I became pregnant with my 3rd child and my 2nd child started kindergarten, again not at all ready, my eyes began to really open or else she just suddenly got worse. There were mornings I had to knock on her door for 30 minutes before she would answer and I could here the other children playing unattended in a small bedroom off the deck (where she had moved her daycare room from the large den). She started looking haggard and the kids said all they did all day was watch tv. (my older daughter rode the school bus to her home of the evenings). They were only eating pizza and other junk food. When my son would ask for milk, she would give him water only. When I took maternity leave with my 3rd child, I pulled the other 2 out of her care. She wanted to keep the baby too, and but there was no way on earth that was happening! So now, I am paying $145/week for daycare for my infant and summer care cost me $165/week for my older two.. I hate writing those checks every week, but at least I know my children are cared for, fed nutriously, have activities for mental development, etc...
I guess the biggest thing about home care is KNOW the providor. Get MULTIPLE references and do suprise checks on a regular basis and if your gut says NO, then get out right then and there. Remember, if someone knows you are coming, they can clean and present everything just right. You never really know what goes on behind closed doors with no else around. At least in a center, there are normally lots of others around and the stability of it is also a wonderful advantage.
Just my two cents....

Jennifer - posted on 07/07/2010

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I have worked in both places. I would suggest that while your child is younge to put her in the home day care. Because it is a smaller setting and more of a 'homey' feeling, and it will get your child use to being around other kids. Also with that, I know that in the home day cares that I worked at, there are children of different ages (for instance ages 1-5) that are in the environment.
With a daycare center, there are lots of different ages, but they are seperated into seperate rooms, which can lessen the amount of accidents. Also in a center I know that all classrooms are required to make activitie plans for each child if they are infants, or make one for the whole class.
I think that if you are happy and know that your child will be taken very good care of in the home day care to go with that while she is young. Also it helps to kinda know the lady that owns/runs it.
Hope this helps.

[deleted account]

I ran my own in-home childcare,for 15 years, and I worked in centers for 5. I love in-home care. For under three it can't be beat. The kids soon feel like family. After three it depends on the age of the other children as older children need to play with others. Pros less illness, feels like home, more flexability, offten cheapper. Cons you may not want to have the age mix (I think it's good for them), No vacation coverage. Check the laws in your state and don't assume just because we work at our home we just sit and watch t.v. Visit and tour more than one home even if just to compaire places.

Elena - posted on 07/03/2010

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My kids in home day care inviorment with other children their ages. My day care provider the BEST!!! If you in Teller County and looking for great day care, let me know. She only have limited openning right now.

Dawn - posted on 07/02/2010

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I had in-home day care with my twins when they were 8 - 10 months old. It thought that it was the right choice for us and our budget until I became stressed due to the "nanny" needing sick days, planning meals for the kids (they were just starting to eat table food) and then the cleaning that I was doing. We switched to a structured daycare and I am much happier. The care they receive, the reliability of the staff being there every day, the learning environment and most of all the balanced meals that are included with my tuition make it the better choice for our family.

Kate - posted on 07/01/2010

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Hi, I started out with Family daycare, it worked at first but then started having a little bit of trouble with the carer not telling me things and finding it out from my daughter whom was 2 at the time.. I have my 2 children in a daycare centre and I know that it is a bit more expensive but, they are more reliable, and I know that they are well looked after. I would like to go back to family daycare but they love going were they are now so I am not changing it. I think as long as they enjoy it I will just work longer.(LOL):)

Dawn - posted on 07/01/2010

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HI Janna,

Just a follow up to all the comments about "alot of TV" in inhome daycare. I disagree. I found two out of the 20 I interviewed that did have the tv on too much. As with anything you have to interview and compare just as you would with a daycare facility. Each is unique in their own way. And many inhome are licensed to teach an in home school program. My inhome was very structured and did do activities with the children. And SHE had her own backup plan if she was sick. The city also checks out all of the inhome daycares in order to give them a license. They have strict codes for their homes and they have to carry larger homeowner's policy's. They have to have their furnace's checked out and the paint in their homes. Do some research on the requirements to get inhome licensing in the area you live. Ask for references of other parents that have used her home. Ask lots of questions about her experiences and how she handles situations that would be important to you. The city also does background checks on all persons living in the household. So, inhome is not any less regulated than a daycare facility. Just a few more facts I wanted to share with you. Again, good luck and trust your instincts!

Dawn - posted on 07/01/2010

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Hi Jana,

When my son was about a year old I had to find daycare for him. I was fortunate to find an in home daycare. She was a young grandma who had raised five children of her own. She dedicated her entire basement to the children. This was no ordinary basement but a world created just for children. She even had practice fire drills out her window that was the required code now in the basement. What I liked about in home versus daycare facility is first "it's a home": It's comfortable. It is also much smaller groupings. Generally not more than 12 children and that is only if the in home person has a helper. If not than it is only 6 children. One draw back to this can be finding the right age group. In home is 100% cleaner and since the person is dedicating their home to their business I found they care alot more for your children. My experience was 100% satisfied. It is one of the hardest things to do to intrust your child's life in someone else's hands because you have to go to work. We as mom's don't want to be away from them. Although I have found decent daycare facility's it is just a business. And I have seen a few of the girls or women they hire that I would like to mop the floor with. All they care about is getting their money. It's noisy there. It's not as clean. Alot more children which can lead to alot more risk of colds lice, etc. My choice would always be in home. Good luck! Trust your gut and first impression when you do your interviews. Your inner voice will not fail you. Feel free to email to talk. Dawn

Laura - posted on 07/01/2010

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As long as your friend's friend is someone you trust, I would say that either option would work. My sister in law watches my 6 month old. She is absolutely wonderful & my daughter gets to hang out with her cousins all day. For the last week or 2 though, her sister in law is watching Melissa while my sister in law is out of town. This also is working well. She has a licensed in home daycare. I know her from many family events, so she's no stranger. Anyway, I personally much prefer the smaller in home setting. I think Melissa gets better attention that way. But these are people I very much trust, & are taking care of her they way I would. Lots of people send their kids to public day cares though for more socialization. I'd want to make sure I would be happy with the caregivers either way.
Laura

Laura - posted on 07/01/2010

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I had my son at a center until he was two. I took him out because they were continually having staffing problems and I never knew who was caring for my child from one day to the next.

I moved him to an in home setting with a woman from my church who runs her own child care. She follows a home school education program as the kids get older, so they are ahead when they get to school age. She reports to the county department of education. She is has more flexible hours and doesn't charge me extra if I get stuck at work and arrive a few minutes late. My son is 5 and has moved on to Pre-K, but she now cares for my 1 yr old daughter. They both love her. I also know she is getting the biblical background I want them to have and wouldn't get in the center available to me. (It looks like you've already got that part covered. *smile*)

Jessica - posted on 07/01/2010

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My son Mason will NEVER be in a daycare. I would quit my job before that happened. You just cant trust them.

Serafina - posted on 07/01/2010

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My husband and I went with an in-home day care due to financial reasons. (Its still expensive tho!!!) But it is very laid back which is good but sometimes I wish it was a little more structured. A center has more structure and a "curriculum" to have kids learn certain things each week whereas an at home one may not be structured like that. But an at home day care lets kids be kids and learn in a more free way. Our son loves it there, he gets excited every day when we drop him off.

Norine - posted on 07/01/2010

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When I decided to put Amanda in daycare I was very scared so I spoke with a friend who was a police officer and she had a home daycare. She explained that in the home daycare the state does not regulate them as well because it's someones home so if someone from the state came by unannoced they didn't have to let them in and so on. Where as a free standing full services daycare they are regulated more. She also shared horror stories of children being molested in home daycares because other people ie boyfriends, relatives may come by. So that killed it for me and I went to a full service center and it has been GREAT!!! The one that my daughter is in now as nanny cam so you and other parents can see what is going on they have a great curriculum she is not sitting in front of the TV. So I love her school and so does she and that means everything to me. I am a single mom and yes it gets tight with the price but I only have ONE chance to get this part right her education.

Lisa - posted on 07/01/2010

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My children both went to home day care. This was ideal as the daycare provider also took them to playgroups, trips out so they met other children. She also provided an induction process for my children which really helped, my children adored her.
The downside can be you need to be sure the day care provider has a good reputation and keep the relationship with her proffesional. Also check what activities she will do with your child. It worked brilliantly for me but some of my friends have had issues with daycare.

Alison - posted on 07/01/2010

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If you live in the UK, then all councils have a list under Family Information Services of registered childminders in your area. I think and I speak from experience as do other moms on here that childminders are best up to age of 2 to 21/2 and then Nursery leading to Pre-school is good as your little people get used to a busier environment and their communication skills become much better and so do their mixing skills. It prepares them for when they go off to school. Childminders often work longer hours than nurseries and are a bit cheaper as they don't have the same overeheads as a Nursery. Check out your daycare by seeing how your child reacts to the carer and how you feel about them and the environment your child will be in. There are some fab people out there who will get your little one off to a good start which makes life easier when you have to go out to work. Good Luck.

Suzie - posted on 07/01/2010

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i perfer the home daycare my daughter has been very happy and she has passed her kindergardeen intrance evaluation when she was 2 1/2 she not only has developed skills faster. We had a horriable time at a center that we took her to and it was just this side of legal care so it dosenot matter which typ you chose it matters which one. The one draw back is if day care closes for a reason you have to find a back up but if you have a back up in line then you will be fine at a in home.

Katie - posted on 07/01/2010

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I have two boys, 4 and 2. They both only ever gone to a day care center. I love it and would not change for anything! Yes it is expensive, but for us the price is worth it. The teachers are all wonderful and give both of my boys the individual attention they need. It is very structured and my husband I love that, they have a lunch room so they dont' eat in their classroom and there is lots of kids for them to play with. I know the tv will not be on all day, they have circle time starting at age 1 and start teaching them colors and shapes at this age as well. And they are always open (minus major holidays). My oldest has been going to the same one since he was 10 months old (he is 4 now). They offer lots of programs for him. I know there are wonderful in-home day care centers out there, but for us I would not change anything!

Jolene - posted on 07/01/2010

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Hi there! I definitely agree with Marcy, I am a single mom, and want the total best for my baby.. She is in a home day care and they are definitley more flexible and are able to give the kids more attention than in a bigger group. Sometimes when I have to work late at month ends my day care is able to facilitate looking after my baby for an extra 1/2 hours where a normal day care will close at exactly 5pm and then I would have to get some one else to take care of her. Do your self a favour and find out who else has their kids in that daycare where you want to put your little one and find out what they think good and bad. Good luck!

Kan - posted on 06/30/2010

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Thanks for asking this question. I am struggling on making the decision to go back to work and I have to decide whether to put my daughter in a daycare or in home daycare and this info was very helpful. Nothing better than advice from moms that are in the situation. Happy 4th ladies

Abigail - posted on 06/30/2010

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My DD was in a home based setting until she was 18 months. I liked having her in the home environment because of her young age. However, when my company was bought out my schedule did allow for the flexibilty needed with a homedaycare provider.(Mine would close when her kids were sick, minor holidays like columbus day, only open 3 days in the summer and closed promptly at 4:30)
Now she is doing well at YMCA's program and she really enjoys. IF you have a local YMCA, check them out- they are much less expensive and in my experience better than other more expensive options.
I think in a nutshell there are great daycares and awful daycares- no matter what kind of setting they are in! You have to find one that works for you family.

Patricia - posted on 06/30/2010

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My son has been at a day care center since he was 4 months old (he is 10 months old now), and I love it. However, it is VERY expensive. I had the option to go with an in home day care, but chose not to. I feel like more can happen at an in home day care, because there is no one there to monitor the situation. At a center it is more like a school - with directors, supervisors, and strict guidelines that are enforced.

Seeing as the home day care is a friend of a friend - it just depends on how much you trust that person. Otherwise, if you can "swing it" stick with a center.

[deleted account]

I think any kind of daycare is good but personally I liked a daycare centre for my son. He went to two different in home daycares before I was able to get him into a centre and they were both great. But with the centre there is a lot more stability. They never call in sick as there are enough teachers there to go around, there are alot more kids of all ages for kids to be exposed to, you never have to worry about the meal plan or what is going on inside the centre. Plus they are learning all the time. They have a set schedule for each age group of what to learn.

Kim - posted on 06/29/2010

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Hello I have had my daughter in a center, then a licensed home daycare and then an unlicensed(mom of hubby's friend) and they all were wonderful. I started up my own licensed home daycare after my son was born which he will be 10 in a week. I will give you my advice on pros and cons for both. I am very open minded to both even though I run a home daycare

Home Daycare Pros

Always the same adult caregiver
Can save thousands of dollars per yer on tuition
More relaxed atmosphere but w/some structure
Smaller group
Variety of ages of children to play with(the littles learn from the older children)
Can sometimes be more flexible w/parents for certain wants/needs
Some home daycares will transport children to preschool/school
Some daycares provide a daily preschool curriculum(my kids learn just as much if not more than they would at going to preschool 2-3xweek.

Home Daycare Cons

Usually have to pay when children are absent(same as centers)
If provider or her children become ill she may close her daycare w/very little notice(although w/the money you save you can pay for drop in care somewhere else)
Provider usually takes vacation time and you usually have to pay for it(again still saving lots of money)
Can be available less hours than a center
Usually more one on one or TLC w/each child

Center Pros

Usually available longer hours
Usually more structured(this is great for more active children but can be overwhelming for some)
Don't have to worry about last minute shut downs for illness/emergencies
Sometimes allow parents up to 1 week vacation without paying(some home daycares do this as well)
Most maybe all offer preschool in their curriculum

Center Cons

Sometimes paying up to thousands more per yer in tuition
Can be stressful for some younger children(my daughter struggled at 17 mos with transition into new activities. They were constantly doing different things and it was too fast paced)
Some centers have hight turn over of employees especially if they don't pay well(I heard the church daycares pay better)
Less one on one attention
For those 3-5 year olds that still need a nap may have trouble napping if a lot of the other kids their age are not(I had a 4 year old come back to my daycare after really struggling with not getting her nap)
Usually have to pay the same each week no matter if your child is absent(home daycares usually do this also)

I hope this helps. Just remember check the daycare out good and go w/your gut or motherly instinct. If the friend of a friends daycare doesn't seem right for you check around at some other home daycares if you want to save money. There are some really good ones out there who love what they do, treat the children well and even do as many activities, etc as a center. Why pay more if you can find the same sometimes better quality for less. Good luck.

Sylvia - posted on 06/26/2010

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It depends on a lot of factors.

First of all, if she's getting good care and loves going where she's going now, I would think hard about switching: childcare transitions can be pretty rough.

Based on my own experiences with a biggish daycare centre (44 kids ages ~12 months to 5 years) and some friends' and colleagues experiences with centres and with in-home daycares, some pros and cons:

Pros of a centre:
- If a teacher is sick, they have a list of people to call on who can come in at short notice; you'll never get a phone call saying your daycare provider has strep throat and you'll have to make other arrangements childcare today.
- There are lots of different kids of a variety of ages, so if your kid doesn't get along well with one or two other kids, it's no big deal -- there are lots of other kids to play with.
- Daycare centres tend to have several of each toy, which cuts down on fighting.
- Centres tend to be quite structured in terms of mealtimes, routines, etc.; if you have the kind of kid who does well with a lot of structure, that's a big plus.
- A centre is more likely to have the resources to do things like field trips for the bigger kids, special treats, celebrations for various holidays, etc.
- Centres are regulated (home daycares may be, but aren't always) and are required to have staff with CPR certification, to meet certain nutrition guidelines with their lunch and snack menus, to take the kids outside for at least X time every day, etc.
- The kids will almost never be sat down in front of the TV.
- Centres tend to have WAY better playground equipment.
- With a bunch of kids toilet-training at the same time, it's likely to be much easier.

Cons of a centre:
- Like I said above, the structure -- our centre wasn't like this, but I've heard there are centres that make even the babies nap at set times; some kids do really well with a lot of structure, others ... don't. YMMV on this one.
- More kids means more germs. This is great in the long run, but can mean a lot of colds in the first couple of years, and some kids also get stuff like hand-foot-and-mouth, strep/scarlatina, chicken pox, gastroenteritis, etc. (My kid never got any of these things except two rounds of strep two years apart, but there were outbreaks of all those things during her 4 years at that daycare centre.)
- In some cases, depending what the mandated caregiver/child ratio is in your area, one teacher may be responsible for a whole passel of kids, which can mean less individual attention for each one.
- The toilet-training-age kids may decide to go on a potty strike: this actually happened with my boss's daughter's class (yes, the daughter did learn to use the potty: she's starting university in September ;^)).
- At some centres (though not ours, thank goodness), the kids are kept quite rigidly separated by age.

Pros of in-home daycare:
- Fewer kids means less varied germs.
- If the person providing care is good at her job and really loves it, it can be almost like being at home, except with more kids to play with.
- Taking a few kids to the park is much less trouble than taking ten or fifteen, so the kids may actually get outside *more* than at a centre, depending.
- If the provider is a good and creative cook, the food may be a lot better.

Cons of in-home daycare:
- Daycare providers need vacations just like anyone else, and hers may not coincide conveniently with yours.
- It can be harder to address concerns with the provider because there are no official channels to follow.
- If the provider gets sick one day, or her kids do, you're on your own. Your job may be OK with that, or it may not.
- There's not likely to be as much variety of activities; the really busy kid may get bored.
- It's not unheard of for kids in home daycare to watch a LOT of TV.
- A smaller group means very different group dynamics. If your child has a problem with another child, at an age when they're not really old enough to talk it through and figure it out, it's much harder to deal with in a smaller group where there may literally be nobody else for her to hang with.

If we had another child, I would definitely go back to our same daycare centre. Yes, it's probably somewhat more expensive than in-home daycare (which I'm not sure is even available in our neighbourhood, actually), but we had an excellent experience there. There are pros and cons of both, though, and a lot of them depend on specifics of the centre, the in-home daycare provider, your child, and you ...

Angie - posted on 06/26/2010

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i first started out at a home care and now we are at a day care center. i prefer the day care center so much more then the home day care. day care centers are more expensive but, the state has to check in on them. they are so many rules for both of day cares centers and homes. the day care center will be open all the time. when the home day care centers can be close for sickness, vacation, or they just don't want to watch kids. my kids was coming home with bruises at a home day care center, ask the adult why, she couldn't tell you why. at the daycare center they check for stuff like that. to found out the hard way, my kids and some others were getting smacked and abuse motional and physical from the home day care centers. please do your background checks and ask other people past and present about the day care.good luck.

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