We’ve previously shared some of the real benefits of licensed home daycares – benefits for children, for parents, and for Providers. Many parents describe finding a great Provider in their neighborhood “like striking gold!”
First and foremost, these parents are looking for an experienced Provider, the right program size, and an educational philosophy that suits their style. And of course, they must really respect and trust the Provider who will raise their children during the workday!
In addition, there are some more practical reasons why parents love home daycares. Here are the four we hear most often:
Location, Location, Location: if we’re being honest, getting your toddler in the car every morning isn’t the ideal start to your day. And adding miles to your daily commute to drive to the child care program on the other side of town is a total drag.
You’ve seen those parents – the ones walking their kids down the street – heading to the daycare just around the corner. Yes, that feeling is jealousy. It’s real. Find the right home daycare in your neighborhood and you’ll join the ranks of these liberated parents! Now they do still have diapers to change. And meals to prep. And nap time to juggle. But you get the point.
Flexible Schedules: have you heard the stories of the for-profit centers that charge parents $5 per minute for late pickup? Home daycares are run by Providers, not corporations, and Providers are people too. Now that’s no excuse to pick up your child late every night – parents need to respect the Provider’s schedule. But because it all comes back to the relationship between parents and Providers, and because the Provider is directly in charge of their daycare, they can coordinate directly with parents to provide some flexible coverage from time to time.
Neighbors: When you decide to enroll your little one in a home daycare nearby, you not only win the lottery in terms of convenience and commute time, but you quickly get to know other parents in your neighborhood. You’ll see them at the park, at the grocery, on the street, and maybe eventually in the backyard for the summer bbq or those Friday night pizza dinner. As young parents, your social schedules are going to take a hit – getting to know parents in the neighborhood is a great way to make new friends and share the experience of raising your children.
Cost: we know, you’re not going bargain hunting for childcare. We get it. Every parent wants what’s best for their children, and yet not every parent wants to shell out $30,000+ per year for child care (per kid!). For most parents, the fact that home daycares cost less than center-based programs is an added benefit, but hey, it’s still money in your pocket that you can spend on, you know, that brunch that you just really want to go to this Sunday.
To be clear, home daycares are about relationships, not about convenience nor price. But parenting is hard, and centers are expensive, and the fact that the best model for child care happens to be just around the corner and more affordable doesn’t hurt either.