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Childcare Options Part 1 – What Type Is Right for You?

Childcare Options

If you’re heading back to school this fall or even back to work, you may be feeling overwhelmed at the number of childcare options you have to consider. Which one is the best for your baby? Which one can you afford? Which one works with your schedule?

While there are several things to consider when determining what the best childcare options are for you and your unique situation, don’t let this freak you out. Take a deep breath! By simply answering a few questions about your needs and your budget you can decide what type of childcare is the right one for you and your kiddo.

3 Childcare Options

Let’s take a look at 3 different childcare options and see what the pros and cons are for each one.

Day Care Centers

This can cost you anywhere from $380-$1500 a month. The average cost is around $900, but you may qualify for government assistance, depending on your income.

The Pros: This is reliable, consistent option. Your child will have adequate supervision, socialization with other children, and the staff members are often trained in early childhood education. Also these facilities are licensed and regulated.

The Cons: There will be more than one child. They often have ridged pick up and drop off times, so if you need flexibility this could be an issue, they can often be full and they will not take your baby if they are sick.

In Home Day Care

The cost for an in home day care option can be anywhere from $300-$1000 a month. Again check, they may accept government assistance if you qualify.

The Pros: Your child is in a home-like environment. Kids still get to socialize, but often in a smaller group and they usually have flexible drop off and pick up times.

The Cons: If your home day care provider is sick, they may not have a backup. Also, children tend to get sick more often in this type of care. Sometimes the standards aren’t as strict in a home environment and more than likely they will be closed for holidays and vacations.

Nanny or Individual Care

The cost for private nanny usually runs $500-$700 a week

The Pros: Your child will get individual attention in your own home, or at the nanny’s home. This arrangement tends to be more flexible, and your child is able to stay in familiar surroundings.

The Cons: This is the most expensive option and there is no nanny supervision. You must read up on the legal paperwork for taxes that has to be completed for hiring a nanny. If they decide to quit or get sick unexpectedly, you have no backup.

Another childcare option that is occasionally available is having a relative watch your child. You should treat this just like you would the nanny or individual care option. While this might be less expensive because often relatives refuse payment or offer reduced rates, you should keep in mind that this puts you in an employee/employer relationship with a loved one. That could get awkward over time. What if you have different opinions on discipline? What if it’s an older relative and they have a hard time keeping up with a young child?  If this is an option for you just make sure you weigh all the pros and cons and don’t just jump at this one because seems like the easiest option.

In our next post we’ll talk more about childcare options, specifically how to find and interview a good provider.  But until then, have we missed anything in this post? How did you decide what the best fit for you was out of all the childcare options? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.

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