In-home Day care vs. Day Care/Preschools...thoughts!

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Erin Elizabeth's picture
Joined: 10/18/08
Posts: 472
In-home Day care vs. Day Care/Preschools...thoughts!

I am going absolutely nuts trying to find a daycare situation for Ethan when I go back to work full time in September. I used the local Child Care Association for referrals and they have given me both day care/preschool facilities and In-home daycares as well. I'm not sure how I feel about someone watching him in their home??! I know they are liscensed and what not but ...I dunno. Thoughts?

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

We have always used licensed dayhomes for our kids. I like that it's more individualized attention from the caregiver, and they really get to know your child. Also kids of different ages are together, so siblings can stay together. The downside is, if the caregiver is sick or needs time off, it can leave you scrambling to find a back-up.

ClairesMommy's picture
Joined: 08/15/06
Posts: 2299

I do like Ingrid. I much prefer dayhomes to daycares. My dayhome is licensed and agency-run. The agency sets up very strict guidelines for their care providers to follow, does in-home checks on a monthly basis and my dayhome lady always has backup if she should need time off. When I first went back to work after mat leave with DD, I had to put her in daycare for a couple of months. I hated it, and so did she. The employees in the baby room were, for the most part, pretty clueless and it took a couple weeks for me to realize they weren't feeding DD her breakfast. Poor little thing came home filthy from crawling on their dirty floors and her clothes were always covered in food. This is just my experience with daycare, but it just made me feel like my kid was one of a herd and that nobody really gave a damn about her. And, this daycare came highly recommended to me! My dayhome lady's house is spotless, DD and DS come home with crafts/art every day, they play outside all the time and take trips to the park. My lady is even driving DD to preschool twice a week starting next month!

MichiGal23's picture
Joined: 09/19/07
Posts: 152

I worked in an in-home daycare for 3 years, and now my kids go to that same in-home daycare. She is licensed, gets checked by both the licensing agency and the food program she uses. I love it because its comfortable feeling. I do have to say though, that I don't have experience with a daycare center to compare it to. My daycare lady has become a close friend of mine now, and I feel like I can fully trust her with my children. They play outside a lot, they do art projects everyday, have story and song time, and Izzzie and Max are able to be together.

Lina5781's picture
Joined: 10/11/07
Posts: 68

Most people that watch children out of their home do it because they LOVE it. Not that the people that work in centers don't, but they work for a company which is out for a bottom line. Generally in a center you'll find one qualified awesome person overseeing more than one room, while the people stationed in that room are your basic minimum wage teen type. Centers WILL max out ratios, where home day cares are far less likely to.

I'm pretty knowledgeable locally about such things because my mom has run an in home daycare for more than 25 years now. She is not only licensed, but has a degree in early childhood development. Over the years she has volunteered at various centers and schools (partly when she was going through school, and partly for her own benefit) and is generally let down. In our area there are two chains she thinks should outright be shut down. On the flip side there are two centers that she thought were stellar. (One is run by a local community college.) Both centers are very expensive by comparison, but the quality of care the kiddos receive is worth it.

In contrast, she's only run into one licensed in home daycare that she felt gave sub standard care. In that instance it was a husband & wife team that ran their home to the max (which meant they had 14 kids under 5 years old to 2 licensed care givers per local law).

Regardless, there is no solid answer. Visit places in your area and go with the one your gut tells you to. Centers and in home day cares have pros and cons. Only you will know what's the best fit for your family.

kristycoulter1's picture
Joined: 05/20/08
Posts: 625

Wow - guess I feel like I should post to give you the other side of the story. We do a daycare center and LOVE it. I will say that this particular daycare is truly exceptional.... always receives high marks / awards and our experience with it has matched the hype.

Here's what I like about it compared to my views/assumptions to home care. It is a school and there is a cirriculum. It's not just babysitting, there is a strong and well rounded educational component. The staff at this location is not your typical "houarly wage" type... they are seasoned, most with teaching degrees or college students working towards their early childhood degree.

Another benefit is a very consistant schedule.... something that could be hit or miss with home care.

Just some ideas.

AimeeLynne's picture
Joined: 09/29/08
Posts: 572

When I had looked into daycare, I look at both, but the facilities gave me a bad vibe (the ones I saw anyways). I went on the NYS website and found licensed daycare people (in home) and set up apts. The one DS goes to now she is fully licensed and has degrees in early childhood education. She has the kids do a letter and number of the day, they have to read, they do craft time, clean up time, plus lots of outside time. She has lots of toys in side and out, and also does a book for each child a day (pertaining to that child's interest...dogs, princesses, etc) She's also fully certified in CPR and first aid. It was so nerve wracking before I found her. I HATED the thought of leaving my baby with someone I didn't know. I would definitely go to the places to visit during the times the kids are there, stay a bit, look all around, use your instincts, if it doesn't seem right, its probably not.

Erin Elizabeth's picture
Joined: 10/18/08
Posts: 472

Thank you all for your input!! I am scheduling a few appts next week to see some. I did find an in-home daycare just down the street and I'm hoping I like it because it would be SO convenient. Also, since #2 is on the way, I would love for Ethan and the new baby to be at the same place. I had Ethan in a daycare facility last year and HATED it. I know every facility is different, so I'm just going to go visit a couple and see how I feel!! I just want the next best thing for my baby besides me!

Joined: 07/26/05
Posts: 10

I'm going to chime in here because I run a small preschool in my home (I have a curriculum that I use for the children and a scheduled day) and when I say small I have 6 kiddos and that is it. My license allows 10 (that's nuts if you ask me!). I am a highly educated (I have my master's in Early Childhood Education), and worked several years as a preschool and Pre-K teachers in child care centers and in the public school. I like what I am doing now SO much better. I really get to know these kiddos, right down to their favorite colors. In the schools and daycare centers, I felt like I was doing more crowd control than anything else. I also feel like I get to know the families so much better to because I can visit more often with them since I have such few kiddos. Overall, I feel that a home environment is so much better for these early years because they have the rest of their school life to be in a large group setting where the fight for attention. Sorry if I offended anybody, but I've been the teacher on both sides and wanted to give you that side of it as well.

Erin Elizabeth's picture
Joined: 10/18/08
Posts: 472

Thank you for your input!!I know for sure which questions I'm going to asks (qualifications, # of kids, daily activities, cleaning protocol, etc.). I can see the pros and cons for both sides and ride now I'm leaning more towards an in-home daycare should I find one that works for us. I'm just going to try to visit as many facilities nearby to get a comprehensive idea of what will work best for us.

mrsgpannther's picture
Joined: 05/03/08
Posts: 23

Just thought I would chime in too...
I have been working in a licensed center for over 5 years now, and I wouldn't go any other direction, personally. If you know the person, or know someone who knows the person...in an "in-home" setting, I would agree to it, however, I would NEVER, and I unfortunately repeat NEVER, put my child in someones home of whom I didn't know. Here in Nevada, there have been countless abductions, "accidental" injuries, and even deaths that have occured in peoples homes. The issue that I see, is that yes, in-home providers are help to the same standard as licensed centers, BUT there is NO laws or regulations (here at least) as to WHO CAN COME IN AND OUT OF THAT HOME WHILE YOUR CHILD IS THERE! Which simply means "Joe Blow" can come waltzing in unannounced as a "friend of the provider", can sit and interact with YOUR child, can accompany on outings, etc, etc, etc.

***NOW IN NO MEANS AM I DISSING THOSE OF YOU THAT USE AN IN-HOME PROVIDER, BECAUSE I'M POSITIVE YOU HAVE DONE YOUR HOMEWORK!"

I am just very passionate about it because 8 years ago, my best friends daughter was sodomized and murdered by "a friend" of her in-home care provider. The little girl was 22 months old. No action was taken against the provider...it was "just a friend."

I have several friends that run an in-home care service....one of them cares immensly...does curriculum, has a closed door policy to visitors, and follows the rules to a tee. The other two, on the other hand, do it because they don't want "real jobs", and can have kids in their home to watch TV all day while they text and play on their computers. Two hugely different situations.
I guess I would have to say that if you were going to choose an in-home provider, do your homework. Make sure they are licensed in every way, find references, do every single amount of research you can, and then some. There most certainly ARE wonderful providers out there, that do care, and keep your child's best interest at heart...but there are even more that don't.
In my center, we have security systems in place so that people can't just come in. Every child has a list of people that are allowed to visit and pick-up, and we do background checks on every family before they enroll. Safety is our utmost priority from day one. I only wish every provider did the same.
Good luck, and sorry to have spilled the beans on this one...just couldn't hold it in.
:bigarmhug:

Lina5781's picture
Joined: 10/11/07
Posts: 68

"mrsgpannther" wrote:

I guess I would have to say that if you were going to choose an in-home provider, do your homework. Make sure they are licensed in every way, find references, do every single amount of research you can, and then some. There most certainly ARE wonderful providers out there, that do care, and keep your child's best interest at heart...but there are even more that don't.

AND check into what that means. Different states/counties/cities have different regulations. I would NEVER suggest using an unlicensed daycare of any kind (well maybe the grandma kind, you know what I mean). In my mom's area it means you have to renew your license annually. You have to have your home inspected annually (things like are outlets covered, you have all your fire extinguishers up to date, escape/action/crisis plans written down, paperwork up to date, etc). You have to have your paperwork audited annually. (I have to fill out specific paperwork every year for my kids spelling out who is allowed to pick them up, and whether or not I approve the use of diaper cream.) You have to have completed ... I can't recall but I want to say it's 6 hours a year of continuing education credits in order to keep your license. You have to have your insurance up to date, have a drop by inspection while your business in operational once every few years, and so on. I'm sure people fall through the cracks, but they don't make it easy.

On the flip side my friend who had her children in a national and well respected chain, had a HORRID incident. Her 6 month old son broke his arm. Rather had it broken for him by a careless and rushed aid that didn't realize his arm was sticking through the crib bars when she went to get him. They didn't even notify my friend until she came to pick him up, and SHE had to get her son medical attention hours after the fact. There are just no words... I get mad thinking of it. Babies bones are pretty bendy so it had to have taken a good deal of force.... I don't know how she wasn't physically violent when she picked him up that evening. Anyway, this happened at a well thought of, fully licensed, fully accredited, fully secured, runs background checks on their staff, daycare/preschool facility. Her kids are now in a different center/school type daycare.

My point is that there are crazy bad stories in any childcare setting. Next to checking into licensing and other legal documentation, you can't have enough references.

"kristycoulter1" wrote:

Here's what I like about it compared to my views/assumptions to home care. It is a school and there is a cirriculum. It's not just babysitting, there is a strong and well rounded educational component. The staff at this location is not your typical "hourly wage" type... they are seasoned, most with teaching degrees or college students working towards their early childhood degree.

These are the best places for this kind of environment because ratios are low (students don't count in the ratios), and the staff is exceptional. It's run by teachers of teachers after all ^_^ Generally they cost more, or at least they do in our area, and most are preschool centered daycares that don't take infants.

~*Meme*~ You are more of the rule than the exception for what I've encountered over the years with licensed daycare providers operating out of their homes.

The short answer is there is no right answer. Both have many pros and cons. Visit both LICENSED in-home daycares and centers in your area, and go with who and where you feel best about as a mom. You could also hire a nanny~