Child care is an absolute thing. No matter how technologically advanced and virtual the world may be, caring for children always goes back to basics- warm bodies that protects them and personally attend to their needs. Since there are times that parents who cannot physically attend to their children, they need to find a place where their kids can be well taken cared of. Fortunately, parents need not worry where/who to entrust their children in times when they leave the house. However, to achieve quality child care, you need to carefully evaluate and study what specific child care will meet your family’s needs, lifestyle, affordability.
Choosing a child care option that fits your need is truly a challenging thing. Let me walk you through all of these child care options as your guide in making the right decision. But before introducing you to various types of care option, you need to narrow down your priorities by answering the following questions:
- What type of child care provider do you need – part-time or full-time? Does family members work the regular 8:00am to 5:00pm work time or on a flexible time schedule? If on a flexible time, does the family need caregivers on a consistent time of are they only needed on an irregular time basis?
- What is the family’s affordability status? Before anything else, available budget for hiring a specific child care should first be determined. To illustrate this, if your budget is limited, you can already narrow your choice from choosing a daycare center instead of hiring a nanny.
- What is your child’s special needs or conditions? If your child happens to have special needs or conditions, you should consider what specific child care fits your child’s needs. Parents are the first caregiver of their children hence, they know what specific child care they need. Other kids may need smaller child care environment while others enjoy with being in a bigger crowd.
- What is your preference level in selecting a child care provider based on your kids’ age? Different type of child care provider has also their different rules in accepting kids based on age. Hence, this aspect should be carefully be taken into consideration. There are child care providers who specifically identifies the age range they are accepting. You can already narrow down your choice if they specify age limits.
After answering the questions, we will now discuss the different child care options.
- First, we will focus on Daycare Centers. Of all types of care option, Daycare is probably the most preferred by parents because of its affordability and convenience. Aside from that, Daycare has longer operating hours which give the parents ample time to finish their job without necessarily being bothered by their kids’ pick-up time.
- Next stop is the Family Home Providers. The greatest advantage of this type of care option is its attractiveness to the kids. Children are accorded with a feel-at-home type of care. Hence, children feel comfortable and relaxed. However, since these type of care only caters to small number of kids, they cannot improve their socialization skills. It is therefore incumbent for parents to assess if their kids can be left in this type of option as many times as they deemed it. Further, the number of hours are limited. Hence, parents need to have their work done before closing hours of the Family Home. Otherwise, you may encounter problems with the Family Home Administrators.
- Third on the list is by hiring a Professional Care Provider (Nannies) in your own home. This type of care option is by far a dream come true for parents. It offers the convenience or comfort of having the kids taken cared of in their own homes. However, this type of care option is usually the most expensive. Further, these are people who are trained to provide the care your kids need. The amount you pay for the professional caregiver should commensurate the number of hours she has worked. Hence, the longer she has worked, the higher is your expense. o hire one, then it would be a win-win choice for both the kids and their parents.
- Next is on Babysitters and other Occasional Care Options. For this type of option, parents can either hire teenage babysitters or even count on family members or friends on occasion while allowing the child to enjoy the comforts of their own home. However, family members and friends cannot be counted on all the time. Their availability depends on their vacant schedules. Further, there are some family members or friends who may have practices/beliefs contradictory to yours that may influence your kids. Unlike other type of child care, this option is more on a personal level. You may not be aware of it but kids are like sponge in absorbing what others taught them. It is therefore advisable that parents carefully consider who to entrust in this type of child care.
- Another option is the Camps and Advancement Child Care. This is the type of option that needs the kids’ evaluation prior to their acceptance in the camp. They need to undergo medical evaluation to check if they are physically fit to join the camp. When accepted, the kids in this type of care option is being entrusted to highly skilled people to help develop their potential. Parents who are concerned to enrich their kids’ talents/skills prefer this type of care. However, one gray area in this option is on the facilitators’ capability to truly watch after and care for your kids. Their being highly skilled does not automatically mean they are good care providers. Parents should therefore meticulously scrutinize what type of camp their kids are joining and evaluate the facilitators’ track record in successfully handling this activity thereby allowing their kids to enjoy, learn something and most of all, be safe.
All being said, all these child care options mentioned has its own advantages and disadvantages. What really matters is that the decision you make is the choice that best fits your family’s needs. Good luck parents!