- Day care centers, including corporation-run centers and centers affiliated with schools, offices, religious institutions, and other public and private entities.
- Part-time child care programs, including pre-schools, learning groups, and play groups.
- Family day care, which basically involves bringing your child to a trained caregiver’s private home.
By Jamell Andrews Many new mothers like the idea of being around to give their babies full-time care, but this is simply not realistic for most modern families. Some parents are able to find jobs that let them work from home, and some families can work out situations where one parent can be home at all times. But for most, it eventually becomes necessary to explore childcare options. There are many issues that go along with this. While everyone wants the best care for their children, there are pros and cons to every option, and the choice is not always easy. For new parents, the decision to use child care for a young one can be agonizing. Of course, you want to be there for your child, and you do not want to miss out on so much time with her. But keep in mind that there are many advantages to using child care. Most importantly, most types of child care give young children the opportunities to engage in types of play and social interaction that they do not get at home. It is a way to broaden your child’s experience with the world, which is a great thing at this stage. In-home care Many parents are uncomfortable with the group setting of a typical day care center and prefer their children to have one-on-one care. In this case, the best option is to hire a full-time nanny to come to your home and take care of your child during the day. If you check the listings in your area, you should be able to find agencies that connect families with trained and qualified nannies. There are of course disadvantages to hiring a nanny. For one, they are typically quite a lot more expensive than group day care. This is simply due to the fact that your family will essentially be hiring an employee and paying her at current market rates. Most families simply cannot afford the tens of thousands of dollars per year it costs to employ a nanny. But of course, it is possible to hire a part-time nanny if you are able to spend at least some days with your child. Many parents are understandably wary about the idea of turning their children over to an in-home caregiver. Fortunately, most nannies who work for reputable agencies are trained and vetted, and parents of course have the opportunity to meet and interview nanny candidates. If you can find a nanny who seems trustworthy and attentive, having her to care for your child can be a great blessing. Types of day care When it comes to out-of-home child care options, things get complicated. Here are just a few of the types of day care available in most areas: