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  1. #1
    apples and bananas
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    Centre care or Home daycare?

    I had an interview last night. They are coming back tonight to sign on. YAY!

    They are moving their child from centre care to my home daycare. I thought this was interesting as normally I hear of clients leaving to go to centre care.

    So, it sparked a few thoughts on why home daycare over centre care. My children have always been in home daycares, and I have never worked in centre care.

    Their reason was because they wanted their child to be in a home environment and they were looking for more flexability then centre care can offer.

    Does anyone else have any great arguments as to why home daycare is preferable to centre care?

  2. #2
    Expansive...
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    All of my clients looked at centre care first. They have said it seems cold in a daycare. They want their children to feel like they are loved and get hugs!

  3. #3
    Starting to feel at home...
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    My parents all felt as if it was more of a family atmosphere and it felt more warm and comfortables I have heard parents say "I dont want my child to be a number" They feel its to business oriented its not personal enough. And I agree with so many kids in daycare centre they don't get the individual care and connection like they do in a home environment.

  4. #4
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    I think that the biggest advantage a home daycare offers is the smaller sized
    co-hort. In a home daycare, there will never be more than 5 children. When you consider that these little babies are coming off of a year where they've been cared for just by Mom or Dad, and (at most) have been around a sibling or two I could see where it would be scary as heck for a little goober to arrive at a daycare centre where you have forty or fifty children buzzing around, and the noise levels are going to be several decibal levels higher than you've ever experienced !

    I also think that home daycares have an advantage in their ability to provide that labour intensive, one on one care that babies need. Whether it's a baby who's fussy and needs to be carried for large portions of the day, or a little one who needs a little extra attention in order to bob off to sleep at naptime, as an independant provider I choose who I take on. For me, that means I never have more than two "wee small's" at the same time, since I can rock, cuddle and comfort two at the same time if needed, but I couldn't do it for four - two would have to wait. While daycare centres do have lower ratio's for the younger kids, it's still too high to allow for quality care. (IMO)

    The other advantage to bringing baby to a home daycare is a health one. Simply put, your 12 month old will be exposed to fewer children's germs here - where there are only 5 playmates - than they will at the aforementioned daycare where there are 10x the number of rugrats.

    Lastly - and not to prey on parents fears here - for at least the first year that your child is in care (assuming that they are starting at 12 months) your little monkey will be non-verbal. This means that they can't tell you if something is not right. I've heard so many horror stories about children who were just plopped in front of the TV, or fed hotdogs and chicken nuggets 5 days a week (as well as the real horror stories where children are abused or left to sit in playpens for 8 out of the nine hours) All the while, parents are happily paying a cheque every week thinking that the "menu" that was sent home is what their child is actually eating, and that their little ones are having lots of fun at daycare. Parents tend to think that if their caregiver wasn't good, they'd know it becuase their children would not want to go to daycare, or they'd fuss at drop off time. Sadly, this simply isn't true. Things could be significantly less rosy than you thought they'd be when you signed that contract. By choosing a home provider, odd's are very good that he/she will have a current clear Police Check, and membership in a professional caregivers association. That's the first step to making sure you're leaving your little 'un somewhere safe. The other advantage is that you're only assessing/taking a risk on one person.

    At a centre turnover is frequently high and it may be difficult to get to know all of the people who are involved in caring for your child. When I worked in centres we rotated through the different age groups. (one week with the babies, one week with the 2-3 crew, and then our last week with the 3-4 group) The more people who have contact with your child, the greater the chance that your little one could be coming in contact with someone who (best case scenario) won't share your child rearing philosophies and may be interacting with your child in a way that you don't agree with, or (worst case scenario) might harm them. Choosing a home daycare provider means that you are entrusting one person with your baby. You have a chance to get to know your caregiver really well. Hopefully this makes it easier for you to go to work without worrying about your baby. I have clients who have told me that one reason they are so comfortable leaving their little ones here is (in part) because they know me. They know what I would do in any given situation. I put a great deal of time and effort into building these relationships, and I firmly believe that it's absolutely essential when people are entrusting their babies to you.

  5. #5
    Trace of Angels
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    I worked for three years in centre care. The big difference I would notice would be one teacher that the child learns to know and love at a dayhome. In the centre I worked in there was lots of comings and goings of the ECE's. Also the children only saw the four walls of the centre and the four fences of their playground. Most home daycares attend parks and go for a walk and some even do field trips :-) Children learn so much from the world around them and they have the next 20 years to be institutionalized in a school setting.
    I also find home care to be a little more forgiving in their sick policy. The centre I worked at sent kids home so often for the littlest thing (ex. one diarrhea and home for a minimum of 24 hours of diarrhea free) even in a 12 month old!!!! How did some of these parents keep their jobs was beyond me. Some did leave for home care but the centre had a huge wait list so it didn't matter to them.
    It was great for me in the way that I didn't have to deal with any difficult conversations with the parents. But I also didn't get to celebrate in anything positive or even talk about their child's day as my shift ended at 4:15 and most parents picked up after 5!
    Both have their pros and cons but I do prefer home care for myself and my own children (at the centre I brought my child to work with me) although I did enjoy being off at 4:15 back then

  6. #6
    Trace of Angels
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    Well said Monday 2 Friday Mama some of those benefits hadn't even crossed my mind. I love your positive outlook on home care, those are some lucky parents to have you!

  7. #7
    Euphoric !
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    We went to see many centres when we were looking for care for our son (he was only 8 months old at the time). We just could not imagine leaving him in any of those places, even the nicer ones. It seemed so institutional...like an orphanage Aside from the impersonal feeling and large group, the cost was very very high! The one daycare that had a space was going to cost us $1700 per month....which was close to my entire salary at the time. I think for many parents it is the cost that first stops them from going the centre route.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trace of Angels View Post
    Well said Monday 2 Friday Mama some of those benefits hadn't even crossed my mind. I love your positive outlook on home care, those are some lucky parents to have you!
    Aw...thanks Trace of Angels. *blushing*

  9. #9
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    My story was almost the same as Sunnydays.

    I told myself even before we conceived that my child would go to a daycare centre where there would be multiple sets of eyes on our child. I maintained that opinion all the way through my pregnancy and after his birth.

    I was 110% sure that was what I would do and the only way our child would be safe and not abused in any way etc.

    Then we went to the centre when my son was around 9 months old and I was getting ready to go back to work. We researched centres and went to see the best that came with high reviews and looked modern and nice.

    Well....the infant room was a basic line up of exersaucers, high chairs and play pens. It seemed cold and like the child would be moved from one to the other. It was a room about the size of a large living room.

    Then we were told that each age has its own room so there were rooms for the 2 year olds, 3 year olds etc....and each year the child would just move from one room to the other like an assembly.

    It seemed totally like pigs in a pen just moving around.

    They did get some time in a larger gym-type room once a day as well as outdoor time but the majority of the time they would be confined to 1 room.

    It didn't sound good or look good no matter how modern it was, clean and supervised.

    I left and was in tears in the car thinking I couldn't do this to my child but what alternative did I have? I really did not trust a stranger at home daycare to look after my child.

    So I talked to anyone and everyone - lots of other moms and asked for what worked for them.

    Someone recommended wee watch was a godo compromise between home and centre care because it was licensed and supervised and we went and met 4 of these providers. We did not get a good feeling from any of that either.

    Now I was feeling like I was really hopeless and went on some home daycare providers. I read some reviews, looked at their pictures and found an ad that just really spoke to me and contacted the lady and we met.

    It was a great fit for our family. In the end I was sooooooo positive I would never use home care but it was what worked for my family and I was so wrong about it.

    I ended up using two different home daycares while I needed daycare for my kids and until I eventually opened up my own. Both were great women and I always keep them in mind and try to live up to the care they give my kids and how they were in dealing with their own daycares.

    Parents might have their mind set on a centre just like I did and then realize it is too cold.

    I can see why those parents would change their mind I would never recommend centre care personally after what I saw/felt touring the places I am sure they are great at what they do but it would not be my choice for sure

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  11. #10
    Euphoric !
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    On the other side do be careful of a family coming from a centre to home care in terms of what their expectations are. The same goes from a family that has a nanny and then decides to use home care instead. In both cases they may have the feeling that they have more control over what goes on in your home than they really do. As long as you address their concerns it usually works out ok but they need to know that you set the rules they have to follow just like a centre does and that for the other scenerio the parents are no longer the ones that set rules so their child will need to be part of the group and not catered too.

    Siblings being together is a good reason to choose homecare. Often our hours are more flexible than many centres. Some children just do not do well in a busy, noisy environment and need to be in a home where the day is less stressful and there is less pressure on the child to keep up.

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