Simmilarities and Differences between Professional in Home Child Care and Day Care

What are the similarities and differences between in-home care and day care centers? Recently I faced the questions: Which one is better for my children? How to choose between them? In-home child care is also called child minder or family child care. It provides early years provision on domestic premises for reward. Day care centers have more children, more teachers, much larger spaces, and more structured activities. Instead of viewing advantages and disadvantages, here is a brief introduction regarding the similarities and differences of these early care solutions.


– Both of these childcare solutions respond to the needs and interests of all the children attending; offering activities designed to stimulate a child’s physical, social and cognitive development.
– Caregivers in both of these options have a good knowledge and understanding of children.
– Kids can make friends with a number of playmates of his/her age either in the in-home setting and daycare center. Day care has more children in a group however.
– Both of these care systems offer their services during the full working day, making both a desirable choice for working moms.
– In-home child care and day care centers either are viewed as being more custodial than educational.
– The mixed age groups help to build an awareness of caring for others in a community.


– Day care has regular access to a stimulating outdoor environment because it has own resources. Most of the child minders take kids to the public playgrounds regularly tough.
– In-home child care has more chance to view every child as unique, with their own talents and skills. The in-home care system is good for those kids who are slower at studying, because they can get individual help. It is about personalized learning and having home-like atmosphere at the same time. Children are encouraged to work at their own pace either individually or in co-operation with others.
– There are advantages of putting a child in contact with more children at day care – e.g. the older ones help younger ones –; however she/he takes higher risks of picking up illnesses from the others.
– Those children whom are joining day care have more caregivers usually.  
– Day care has usually wider range of fascinating materials and activities to engage the children’s interest.

Regulations of child care institutions

– In the US state legislation may regulate the number and ages of children allowed taking in a child minder’s home. Child Development Associate (CDA) credential is the minimum standard for those whom are wishing to open such business at their homes. Each state has different regulations for child minders’ requirements. Some of the states requires day-care teachers have BA degree in Early Childhood Education, by 2012 all lead teachers must have a BA in Early Childhood Education. Every family childcare needs to be accredited by the National Association of Family Childcare (NAFCC).

– In the UK a child minder can take 5 kids at the same time. If two child minders are working together, they can take 9. There is a well-organized child minding system in UK; also there is the National Child Minding Association. If somebody wants to be a child minder, she needs to register at Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills). She has to do trainings every year, which are freely provided by the local council/government. She also needs to have special licenses for safety and emergency situations. She is like a kindergarten teacher, and also like a nanny, so she takes the children to the school or kindergarten. They do circle time; learn about cultural and environmental issues etc. When a new child enters the child minder’s house, parents need to sign a contract which includes opening time, tuition, holiday etc.

The best solution for a youngster depends on the quality of the caregivers, the programs offered, and the needs of the child.

The Early Years Foundation Stage, Practice Guidance