Home childcare is an excellent choice if you prefer a less businesslike approach to childcare. You will find that there are fewer children on site, and that children are in a home with a family or individual rather than in a business. Home daycare centers are state licensed, and can provide care for children of all ages.
What to Look for In a Home Childcare Center
It is important to note that home childcare centers will have varying regulations from state to state. You will always want to check your providers license, and ask questions if you have any. Many parents find it comforting to attend childcare with their child for a couple of hours on the first day, which will help the child adjust more readily and give parents a chance to see what kind of environment is provided in the home. You may want to ask whether or not there is an assistant, as well, who can care for your children if the main caretaker is ill.
There are also different rules set by providers, such as whether you need to send snacks or meals, or whether these are included in your weekly fees. Often providers include one meal, such as lunch, as well as a snack in their fees. You will need to pack all of the essentials for your child, however, such as diapers, bottles, and formula as needed.
Meal times are very important to consider. If you are responsible for breakfast, for instance, make sure that you have time to give your child the meal before dropping her off. This will ensure she is happy and ready to play until snack time or lunch. You may want to ask if you can send an extra snack if you have a toddler who likes to graze in between regular meals and snacks. Home providers are often willing to work with parents to find a routine that works well for both the child and the caregiver.
Communicating With Your Home Childcare Provider
Your child will spend a significant amount of time with the caretaker, so good communication is a must. Make sure that you are comfortable enough with the house rules at the provider’s home to enforce them, which will also help smooth the transition from home to childcare. You may also want to note that sick children are usually not allowed to attend. This protects both the other children and the caretaker from illnesses.
Even though a home childcare center is a good choice, there are certain rules that still apply. Don’t be afraid to interview several childcare providers in order to find the one that you are comfortable with. Once you have found a reliable caretaker, you and your child can benefit from a warm, caring environment until they are ready for school. One of the greatest benefits of choosing a home base provider is that there is often plenty of room for flexibility, so that you know your child is having their needs met.