Choosing between Professional in Home Child Care vs Day Care

Selecting the best possible care for children is a choice that parents make with a great deal of careful consideration. This article is written by a mother of six who has utilized both day care and professional in-home child care.

There are benefits to relying on a reputable daycare organization for your child’s day-to-day needs, such as social interaction and structured activities. However, here are eight somewhat compelling reasons why providing professional child care for children in the home environment could be a wise option.

1. Monitoring – In-home professional child care is something you can monitor, literally. There’s nothing wrong with installing a cleverly integrated monitoring system to keep a watchful electronic eye on daily life when you’re not physically present. Your children are the most important part of your world, so it’s comforting to possess the ability to monitor how they’re treated in your absence. This is not something that can be done on someone else’s child care turf.

2. Reduced chance of illness – When your child is cared for at home, if there’s a bug going around you can control how much contact your youngster has with other children. With day care, if you wish to keep your child home to prevent potential germ contact, you’ll need to find a sitter on short notice.

3. You do the hiring – With in-home care, you can closely scrutinize every detail of the person who will be caring for your child. Daycare centers have requirements that applicants must meet, but you have no voice in the selection process. If you don’t want to start from scratch, work with professional child care employment agencies that specialize in providing excellent, well-qualified candidates.

4. Delays – If you’re running late, your child won’t be stranded at a daycare facility, wondering why you haven’t arrived yet, waiting to return to familiar, warm surroundings. If they’re already at home, such situations won’t result in as much frustration and anxiety for the youngster. When hiring, include a stipulation for flexible hours to allow for unforeseen delays.

5. You’re the boss – Daycare operations are owned by someone else, and filled with staff whose philosophies may not parallel your own. It’s easier to gain a clearer picture when your child’s care worker is hand-picked by you, and operates within the setting of your home.

Establishing your own child care scenario also enables you to customize your child’s daily schedule to include activities as you see fit. This is more conducive to meeting each child’s individual needs than allowing an impersonal facility with pre-established routines to decide what your youngster does every day.

6. One-on-one vs. group care – In the home environment, your child is being attended to by one person. In a daycare center, multiple children are under the supervision of staff who are not able to offer focused one-on-one attention.

7. Rigid structure vs. adaptable structure – Although routines are important for children, too much structure can inhibit certain instinctive tendencies to self-teach through trial and error. “People who push computers and structured learning activities for young children simply don’t understand that it is play that teaches kids the important things they need to know. This is how they discover that wood floats and coins sink as they play with these objects in a tub of water.” This statement is offered by education experts Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S. at

Daycare centers rely on structure to keep children occupied and under control. Home care can include unstructured periods to allow your child to develop on a more personal, individualized level.

8. Social development – Daycare centers get kids out of the house and into social settings. Preschool, educational activities, elementary school and pre-planned playtimes can also be incorporated into your child’s daily activities with home care to ensure they receive a healthy dose of social interaction.

Another social aspect to peruse is that sometimes youngsters have developed unpleasant behaviors by observing how other children act. In a daycare setting, the more kids your child is exposed to, the higher the chance of someone else’s inappropriate behavior being imitated at home.

Daycare definitely has an important place in today’s fast-paced world. It is a necessary service that allows many parents to work or pursue educational opportunities worry-free.

On the flip side of the child-care coin, there’s a reason the saying “there’s no place like home” has endured the ages. Home is a place filled with love and warmth that perpetuates a nurturing environment where children feel safe. Providing professional child care in the home is an important option to be considered when weighing decisions regarding what may be in your child’s best interest.