Tips on How to Find Quality In-Home Daycare for Children

Parents can research, make visits and talk to others to make the right choice

kids in daycare with provider
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Parents often struggle to find quality in-home daycare for children. Take the parent who wrote into this site seeking advice about how to obtain such care. The parent wrote the following:

"I'm at my wit's end in finding good quality in-home care. But I'm so afraid and trust no one -- for good reason. My child has been in three family homes (and she's not even 3). The first we had to leave because we moved.

At the second, I took my daughter out because she had unexplained bruises (and I found out later the caregiver is being investigated for harm to a child). Now, my daughter is in an NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accredited family home that is about to close. Help!"

Professional childcare providers offered the parent insight about the steps that should be taken to find the right care. For one, they reassured the parent, telling her that she'd already made many of the right moves.

"You are looking for personal recommendations as well as national accreditation in the childcare providers you consider," they said. "There are good quality programs out there, but even the best of them will not always be perfect or a perfect fit for your needs. Keep looking!"

Determine Your Preferred Type of Childcare

The providers also encouraged the parent to determine which type of childcare she preferred.

Is she interested in a nanny, a home provider or a childcare center? 

Nannies typically work in your home for your child and you can look for one whose child-rearing value system is similar to your own. They are a costly option, however.

Home providers typically have small, mixed-age groups and the child remains with the same caregiver.

The atmosphere is home-like, while licensing, registration or accreditation help to ensure the child's health and well-being. With a home provider, you may be responsible for your own backup plan in case the provider needs a day off. You are also less likely to meet a lot of children at your child's stage of development.

Childcare centers often have the longest available hours and are the least likely to close on you. They also are typically regulated through licensing and accreditation. Centers may have a high turnover of staff and the child may have two or more caregivers throughout the day.

Wrapping Up

Be persistent when placing your children in childcare. Don't just visit the childcare center once. Visit it twice or three times at different times during the day. Find other parents seeking childcare and talk to them about their plans. Get references from them on any childcare leads they have. 

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