MomTrusted on Parenting, Kids, and Early Education

Types of Child Care

When searching for care there are several things to consider. What are my options for child care? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different types of care? And what should I look for when interviewing providers and visiting centers?

Karen Middendorf, Director of Parents Services at 4C for Children, talks to us about these important considerations in the video below.

For more information from 4C for Children go to: www.4cforchildren.org
Also, view this list at: http://www.4cforchildren.org/PS/types.html

What are the my options?
1. Child care centers
2. Inhome or Family care providers
3. Nannies
4. Babysitters

What do these child care types mean?
1. A child care or early education center is a state licensed facility with multiple teachers and children. Some centers have established teaching curriculums while others serve more as daycares.
2. Inhome or family care providers care for children in the providers home. Some inhome providers care for their own children in addition to children from other families, while others choose to care for children from several families in their home. Some states require this type of provider to register for a state license or certificate.
3. A nanny is a child care or early education provider that offers full time care in the family’s home. Nannies can live-in or live-out of the family’s home. Au pairs are a type of nanny who are foreign citizens that travel in to work with a family.
4. A babysitter is a child care or early education provider that offers part time, occasional, evening, or weekend care.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of each type of child care? What should I look for when I interview a provider or visit a center?

Child Care Centers

Child Care Center Advantages
- licensed by the city or state
- trained staff
- age appropriate activities, equipment, and supplies
- dependable care
- social environment for your child
- supervised caregivers
- structured

Child Care Center Disdavantages
- exposure to illness
- may need to stay at home or arrange care when your child is sick
- less flexible drop off and pickup times
- often closed on holidays
- less one on one time for children
- teacher and staff turn over can create instability

What should I look for in a Child Care Center?
- warm and loving teachers
- safe and engaging environment
- low teacher to child ratios
- a balance of structure and free play
- compliance with health and safety regulations
- current license and certificates

Inhome Family Care

Inhome Family Care Advantages
- small group size
- chance for child to socialize with other children
- varying child ages and home environment creates a family feel
- often less expensive than child care centers and nannies
- may be more flexible hours

Inhome Family Care Disadvantages
- providers often have less education or training in early care
- less dependable care
- not as monitored
- difference in teaching or childrearing styles can create issues

What should I look for in an Inhome Family Care Provider?
- warm and loving teacher
- safe and engaging environment
- low teacher to child ratio
- compliance with health and safety regulations
- current license and certificates
- compatible teaching or parenting styles
- has references from other families

Nannies and Babysitters

Nanny and Babysitter Advantages
- less stressful transitions
- familiar environment
- one on one attention
- flexible scheduling
- reduced exposure to illness
- convenient location

Nanny and Babysitter Disadvantages
- hard to monitor care
- can be very expensive
- difficult to find
- no socialization with other children
- may need to provide benefits

What should I look for in a Nanny or Babysitter?
- warm and loving personality
- compatible teaching or parenting styles
- responsible and dependable
- has reliable transportation
- has references from other families

Overall, when selecting care…
1. Take your time and explore many options.
2. Interview several care providers and visit centers.
3. Ask lots of questions.
4. Observe the teachers and care providers with children.
5. Find providers with matching teaching philosophies and parenting styles.
6. Develop a written set of expectations.
7. Talk to other parents who have used child care.
8. Most importantly, trust your instincts.

For further assistance call 4C for Children at 513-221-0033 or visit 4cforchildren.org
To locate child care in your area and talk to other local parents visit 249smiles.com

Sources:
4cforchildren.org
babycenter.com
naeyc.org
nanny.org

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