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In-Home Daycare vs. Facility Day Care


Forum: 2010 Playroom

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  #1  
January 27th, 2010, 07:01 PM
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We are working on selecting a daycare and I wanted to know your opinions on either In-home or facility. In most cases, in-home daycare has been more afforadable and more flexible, but I'm curious what you think.
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  #2  
January 27th, 2010, 07:58 PM
Ang1885's Avatar Veteran
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Location: Gilbert, AZ
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I worked in a "chain" daycare and it was horrible. They put so many kids in one room that it was hard to not treat the kids like numbers. I just felt so bad that there weren't enough adults to really give attention to the kids. The daycare closed soon after I quit because I'm sure a lot of the parents saw what was going on and there just wasn't any money. My friend from high school is starting her own in-home daycare and I think she would do an excellent job watching my kids but if something were to happen I'd want to know she would be responsible. I think it depends on the atmosphere of the facility, in-home or not, what you think is best for your child, and your priorities for your child's care.
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  #3  
January 27th, 2010, 09:11 PM
starrsgirl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Nebraska
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We are in the same boat as you! Here's some things I have thought about:

Home:
Good - small number of kids, less germs going around, flexible, affordable, provider may be someone you know, home environment

Cons - if the sitter gets sick you are out of luck! un-regulated/supervised by higher authority, more TV exposure and downtime when caregiver gets tired, depending on experience of provider he or she may have less schooling

Facility
Good - highly structured with activities, providers (at least in our center) are required to do continuing education/child development academic work, center is inspected regularly and graded by outside agency, food is regulated and complies with national health recommendations, dependeable (they will be open every day), social interactions, no TV exposure, daily "report card" on kid

Cons - more kids to provider ratio, kids get sick a lot, if your kid is sick you usually can't have them in the facility, strict # of hours per day you can have your child in the facility


I still don't know which way we are going to go. I have a few working girl friends who have had issues with their home day care providers calling in sick or taking vacation. In my job, I just don't have the option to stay home on random days...so I'm really worried on the dependability. One solution is to use at home care but then have a reliable back up drop-in center (but those are sometimes hard to get slots in!!!)

I'm really excited to hear other's experiences/thoughts.
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  #4  
January 28th, 2010, 04:04 AM
Karlie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I have my 19mth old at a Family Day Care presently. The carer is a friend of mine and she is a beautiful, caring, energetic and devoted carer and my son loves it there. But I am pulling him out because her husband is a jerk and yells at his 2 year old around my child and makes jokes about beating kids to 'keep them in line'. At home daycare is scary, because although you might adore your carer she may have her husband at home occasionally, family visiting etc so you can never be 100% sure about who your child is going to be around. In Australia people that visit the house are not required to have police checks etc unless they are staying long term (more than a month). The pros about at home care is the smaller child to staff ratio, more attention, personalised care, better feedback about your childs day. Noah is moving to a childcare centre with 60 other children (although will be in a baby room with about 8 kids) and I'm sad that he wont get the level of attention that he is used to, but the benefits outweigh the cons for me. At least I know if one staff member does something wrong, there are 10 others to pull them up on it. There's a director I can complain to and will feel more comfortable than confronting the individual face to face. Another plus is that childcare centres provide food & diapers often, whereas most at home carers dont. That doesnt sound like a lot, but its a big help to a working mother.
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  #5  
January 28th, 2010, 04:04 AM
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My kids have been in daycare. MIL looked after both of them till they were 6 months and then they went into daycare for 3 days a week. Its a good one, they have different rooms for different ages so there is more adults the younger the children. I think if you look around then there are some great facility daycares out there. Saying that my Mum worked as a childminder and that was great for us and the kids she looked after.
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  #6  
January 28th, 2010, 08:56 AM
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why can't day cares have a web cam set up with a live feed. The moms can have a pass code to log on and check on there child at any time? Do you think other moms would like this? I guess the con is your child would be viewed by any of the moms
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  #7  
January 28th, 2010, 09:18 AM
Jule'sMomInOR's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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This is a great topic, and I'm glad you brought it up. I definitely would prefer to have in-home daycare. The biggest downside that I can see is that the daycare provider might get sick, want to take vacation, or have personal emergencies. However, you can always designate a facility as a back-up daycare provider. The company my husband works for actually pays for 5 days of back-up daycare per year, and reserves a couple of spots at a facility just across the street from his office for that purpose.

I've only looking into daycare a little, but so far, I found one in-home provider that charges $33/day. If I want to take the baby in 4 days per week, I'll pay exactly 80% of what I'd pay for 5 days. I also don't have to pay if the baby is sick. Daycare facilities would charge me about 93% as much for 4 days as for 5, since I'm taking up a crib either way. I don't get any discount if the baby is sick and I have to stay home from work and care for him. In my area, most of the facilities would be about $1,050+ per month for an infant, and if I go with in-home care for 4 days per week, I can get by on just over half of that.

Besides the financial aspect, I do like that there are fewer kids and fewer germs. However, I think it's extremely important to find the right facility.

I'm lucky that my mom is willing to come from halfway across the country to watch the baby from 2-4 months, after my maternity leave is up. I'm really thrilled that he won't have to go to daycare until 4 months. I might even try to convince her to stay an extra month.

My husband and I have some tours scheduled of daycare facilities tomorrow. Even though we're pretty sure we want to stick with in-home, we're evaluating all of the options. Any ideas on what we should look for and what questions to ask?
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  #8  
January 28th, 2010, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by torrmom View Post
why can't day cares have a web cam set up with a live feed. The moms can have a pass code to log on and check on there child at any time? Do you think other moms would like this? I guess the con is your child would be viewed by any of the moms
several of the chain daycares DO have this and at first it sounded great, but then the one we ended up going to (and love) said they don't do that because you never know who can hack into it and watch the kids. But we're more than welcome to drop by anytime and view the monitors that they have in the office of each room.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TTCFirstinOR View Post
My husband and I have some tours scheduled of daycare facilities tomorrow. Even though we're pretty sure we want to stick with in-home, we're evaluating all of the options. Any ideas on what we should look for and what questions to ask?
We visited a couple centers and like the others have said, went on our intuition. But some of the things to look for are (and they're pretty standard):

each baby has it's own crib (no crib sharing for part time babies)

who provides blankets/sheets (ours provided the sheets, we provided the blanket)

if you're nursing, do they have an area where you'd feel comfortable nursing (one of the daycares had a rocking chair set up in the bathroom. The one we went with made me feel comfortable sitting in the room in the rocking chair to nurse)

will they allow powdered formula or do you have to premake the bottles? (one had a 'no powder' policy) Ours allowed us to bring in a container of formula and they would mix the bottles as needed--which was nice because we were only supplementing towards the end.

I know this might sound silly, but pay attention to how the daycare smells...a well kept daycare shouldn't smell like pee.

How old are the babies/toddlers in each room. Ours moved the older babies out to a different room when they were able to start walking.

Do they provide meals, are they included in the price or do you have to pay extra or bring your own? This is for when they get a little older, but it's actually VERY nice not to have to worry about sending breakfast and lunch for Kyla. They'll even feed her some dinner if we're running later than usual to pick her up! (at no extra charge!)

How do you like the teachers? Directors? You'll be interacting with both and want to be sure that you have a good rapport with them.

Do they take credit cards or just cash/checks? Ours takes credit cards and we use a card that gives us 1% cash back...works well for us!

How often do they sterilize the toys? This should be done AT LEAST every night.

Lastly, some will work with you financially. We paid full price for Kyla her first year, but then due to budget constraints had to start looking elsewhere...when we let them know, they worked with us and actually met what the other center was charging (which was a 15% discount because DH is a teacher)! So we were able to stay where we wanted to for much less than we were paying.
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  #9  
January 28th, 2010, 04:28 PM
MelKD's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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We have used a home daycare provider on a part-time basis for the past year and a half. Josh used to spend all day over there, from 7:00-5:00, two to three days a week. Now he's only over there from 8:30-11:30ish (mornings) about two days a week b/c I switched jobs. My grandmother usually watches him one morning during the week too. I actually work for a childcare company, but don't want to enroll him, first of all b/c of the prices (I only work PT, it would kind of cancel out the point in me working, even with the employee discount), plus I see how many of those kids are walking around sneezing, sniffling and coughing all over every thing, and I just say "no thank you". With the sitter, Josh is currently the only kid she watches, besides her 4 year old adopted daughter, so he gets a TON of individual attention, which he and I both love. I prefer having her over a daycare any day!
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  #10  
January 28th, 2010, 05:16 PM
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We went with a daycare facility. It had a webcam so we could check in every now and again. Our decision was based on the fact that we didn't know anyone who ran an in-home daycare and the thought of sending DD to a stranger's house didn't sit well with me. We looked into licensed in-home daycare, but I didn't like the neighbourhoods that they were located in.

We eventually left our first daycare because it was a "for profit" centre. It was rather costly and although they took good care of DD, making money was their bottom line. There was also a high rate of staff turnover...not a good sign. Our current daycare/preschool is fabulous. Most of the teachers are "older" and some have worked there for 20+ years! The only problem is they don't take children until they are 18 months old. Although I get one year mat leave (I'll be taking 14 months), I will have 4 months to that I'll need care for before this baby can go.

My advice is to check out as many places as you can before you decide. This might sound crazy, but if you decide to go with in-home daycare, drive by on garbage night. Someone I know did this to see what they had in their recycling bins to get an idea of the type of food they served. Crazy? Maybe, but when it's your child, you need to know everything before you make a decision.

Sorry for the book!
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  #11  
January 28th, 2010, 07:44 PM
starrsgirl's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Thank you all for your thoughts on this one! Please keep 'em coming...I'm just so worried about making the "best" decision about daycare and know that I will be a nervous first time mom.
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  #12  
January 28th, 2010, 09:22 PM
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Are facility day-cares flexible? Like can you just drop your kid off on different days and times each week? Or does it need to be set?

Ideally I would just want to leave my baby with a grandparent but both sets live across the country.
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  #13  
January 29th, 2010, 03:07 AM
Karlie's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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[quote=AndiC;18840905]
We eventually left our first daycare because it was a "for profit" centre. It was rather costly and although they took good care of DD, making money was their bottom line. quote]

Thats a really good point. If your going to do a childcare centre my advice is to make sure its community based. For profit centres generally have crappy toys and crappy food. I know one centre that used to have one watermelon between 50 kids for afternoon tea!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by Daffodil View Post
Are facility day-cares flexible? Like can you just drop your kid off on different days and times each week? Or does it need to be set?
Most childcare centres charge by the day not by the hour. So you can drop your kid off and pick them up whenever you want but you still have to pay for the whole day regardless of the hours you use.
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  #14  
January 29th, 2010, 09:18 AM
Jule'sMomInOR's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Whether your daycare facility is flexible or not depends on the area, I think. In my area, daycares have 6-8 month waiting lists for infants! They do not have an extra crib empty for when you want to just drop off an infant. If you go on a two-week vacation, you still have to pay for daycare the whole time because you have your spot reserved! I think it's nuts, and just one of many reasons I'm looking for in-home care.

The only way I'm able to have back-up daycare is that my husband's company reserves a spot or a few spots in one of the local daycares and pays for it all the time.
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  #15  
January 29th, 2010, 09:24 AM
leahanna's Avatar Super Mommy
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I have never had experience with in home daycare and when DD went to daycare when she was young(like 2) I worked there so I never had any problems.

My sister on the other hand has her youngest in an home daycare and the only bad thing is (like another lady said) If Mrs. Ronda gets sick you are screwed! She also takes 2 weeks of vaction every year(spread out) she lets her know in advance but she has to find somone to watch him. Its usually me and I love keeping him but since I have been pregnant I havent keep him.
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  #16  
January 29th, 2010, 09:51 AM
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This is just my opinion and my experice. My children have been in both in-home and center daycare. I personally prefer a center daycare center over in-home. We have not had a good experience with in-home daycares in our area. Right now they both go a daycare center at a church. We normally use church daycares. I prefer center daycare for a couple of reason. They are regulated and there is always people watching. With a baby I am always worried that they might be neglected or not taken care of properly. At our daycare they fill out sheets at each feeding and diaper change and they are very clean and always on a schedule. Which I love. It is a hard choice to make. Good luck!
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  #17  
January 29th, 2010, 11:51 AM
ElizabethS's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NickiRay View Post
This is just my opinion and my experice. My children have been in both in-home and center daycare. I personally prefer a center daycare center over in-home. We have not had a good experience with in-home daycares in our area. Right now they both go a daycare center at a church. We normally use church daycares. I prefer center daycare for a couple of reason. They are regulated and there is always people watching. With a baby I am always worried that they might be neglected or not taken care of properly. At our daycare they fill out sheets at each feeding and diaper change and they are very clean and always on a schedule. Which I love. It is a hard choice to make. Good luck!

This! Supervision is a must, and I like being able to monitor how often/when my baby is being fed and diapered. Both of mine went to a small center daycare until DH and I got married and he became a SAHD. Once he starts back to work, probably later this year, DS will be going to preschool then daycare and my other two will be at the daycare as well.
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