Apr 24 , 2020
What Kind Of Day Care Center Should I Choose?
In a world of rising prices and longer work hours, day cares have become a necessary part of family life. These facilities exist not only to keep kids safe while their parents work away from home but also to provide their young wards with the creative and socio-emotional skills needed to live a good life.
Choosing a good day care facility for your child isn’t easy at all. Not only do you have to factor in tuition fee prices and distance, but you also have to make sure that your child isn’t left at the mercy of apathetic or needlessly disciplinarian staff. Here are the main kinds of day cares to choose from, as well as some pros and cons to consider.
Group Day Care Facilities
As the name implies, these facilities mainly care for children in groups. Also known as center-based care facilities, group day care centers are usually licensed by the state and run by various organizations. Some group day cares can be part of a local or national chain, while other day cares can be run by churches, social services, individual owners, schools, and universities.
The main advantages of a group day care include the following:
- Licensed, Trained, and Properly Supervised Staff: The owners and employers of group day cares prefer to hire people who have received adequate qualifications or training in the field of child care. Since group day cares are usually run like a school, hired caregivers have to be regularly monitored and supervised every day. Even if a day care teacher has to call in sick or skip a day of work, it isn’t difficult at all for the owners to find substitute teachers right away.
- Proper and Plentiful Facilities: You can’t do a good job without the proper tools. Many group day cares know this and as such, their owners always ensure that resources for teachers, classrooms, toys, books, and other necessary materials are always kept in proper shape.
- More Opportunities for Social interaction: Group day centers usually have larger class sizes. Some parents prefer to enroll their kids in these facilities since they provide their kids with more chances to make friends, meet new people, and build vital social skills.
- Stricter Government Regulation: Various government agencies centered on education and child welfare are required to regularly inspect group day care facilities. If a group day care is found to be too unsafe or out-of-date for kids, the state will definitely have no choice but to step in and shut it down.
Even though group day cares come with good benefits, they do have some disadvantages as well. Here are some cons to consider before enrolling your child in a group day care center:
- High Fees And Costs: Most group day care centers aren’t known for being cheap. Even though there are some group day cares with lower tuition fees, you also have to factor in how much you need to spend for school materials, field trip fees, and other necessary expenses.
- Constantly Changing Staff: Larger staff numbers usually means more unpredictability. You might find that a few hired staff members might not be as qualified or experienced as others. Group day cares are also more likely to have higher turnover rates—in other words, it’s not uncommon for staff to leave and be replaced after just a few months.
- Less Individual Focus: It’s not always possible for a teacher to pay attention to individual students when running a large class. They might not be able to notice that something is wrong with one or two students right away. If you feel like your child might need extra attention, you might not want to enroll them in a group day care.
- More Exposure To Illness: Larger class sizes usually mean higher chances of contracting communicable illnesses. This might not be a problem for elementary-aged students, but it can be quite risky for young toddlers. If you really want to enroll your child in a group day care, you’ll need to take extra precautions against illness first.
Home Day Care Centers
As the name implies, home day care centers are usually run out of someone’s private abode. In some cases, individual people running their own day care centers usually care for other kids alongside their own. Even though home day care centers are also subject to strict government regulations, these can vary depending on your state or country. Some owners of home day cares might not have proper certification or required child care training, so choosing a good home day care can be quite a gamble.
The advantages of a home day care center include the following:
- Smaller Class Sizes: Some parents feel uneasy with larger classes since this means less individual attention is put on their children. Since home day cares have smaller class sizes, it’s much easier for caregivers to pay attention to their students and step in when things go wrong.
- Varied Students: Another advantage to a home day care center is that the backgrounds and ages of students tend to be varied. It’s not unusual for three-year-old and five-year-old students to all learn in the same place. In some home day cares, students can also have the opportunity to meet people from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. If you feel like your child could benefit more from meeting different kinds of people, a home day care might just be for you.
- A Less Sterile Environment: One complaint that parents sometimes have about group day cares is that it can feel more like a sterile school (or even a boot camp) instead of a loving and nurturing place for kids. On the other hand, home day care environments can prove to be more comfortable and familiar for your child.
Like group day cares, home day care centers also come with their own disadvantages. Before you decide to enroll your child in a home day care facility, here are some cons to consider:
- Less Supervised And Qualified Staff: Not all owners of home day centers have proper training in the field of child care. Since home day cares are usually just run by one or two people, they don’t also have the same level of strict supervision as group day care centers.
- Not As Much Social Interaction: Your child might end up having to interact with the same people every day if they’re enrolled in a home day care. This can mean less opportunities for new and meaningful social interaction. Furthermore, if your child has problems with his or her classmates, it won’t be possible to just switch them to another class.
- Varied Quality: The quality in home day care centers may vary depending on the owner’s level of expertise and budget. Some owners might not be able to provide the amount of learning materials or lessons that you desire.