What are the Different Childcare Options Available?

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Answered by: Tina, An Expert in the Options in Child Care Category
As a parent, searching for different childcare options can be quite overwhelming. In most areas there are several types of childcare available. These include daycare centers, home daycare, and nannies.

Daycare Centers

A daycare center is often operated in a building that is dedicated to the school. These centers are similar to public schools and will typically serve children from the age of six weeks up to five or six years. The cost of a daycare center will vary, but the average price is around $1000 per month.

The pros of daycare centers include:

1. Price is less than a nanny

2. Always open

3. Child will be with children around their same age

4. Regulated and licensed

5. Staff will be trained in CPR, First Aid, and Early Childhood Education

Some of the cons of daycare centers include:

1. Finding a spot at a daycare center for an infant can be difficult.

2. Your child will be with a large group with typical ratios being one adult per four babies and toddlers and one adult per eight children over the age of three. These ratios will vary by state.

3. Drop off and pick up times are rigid.

4. Will typically be closed during the holidays

5. Children in group care are often sick more often and the center will not provide care for a sick child.

Home Daycare

A home daycare is located in the provider's home. The ages welcome at a home daycare will depend on the provider. The average cost for this type of daycare is around $650 depending on the age of the child.

Some of the pros of a home daycare include:

1. Provides a homelike atmosphere for the child

2. Smaller group of children

3. Typically will have more flexible pick up and drop off options

4. Cheaper than most daycare centers and other childcare options

5. Children have the chance to socialize with kids of multiple ages.

Some of the cons of a home daycare include:

1. No supervision of the caregiver

2. Licensing requirements are not as stringent.

3. Most home daycare providers do not have a formal education in early childhood.

4. If the provider becomes ill, there may not be a backup.

5. Closed during the holidays and may take vacations throughout the year.


A family may choose to hire a nanny for their childcare needs. The nanny may live in the home or come during working hours. The average cost for a nanny is anywhere from $2000 to $3000 a month. A live in nanny may receive less than this.

Some of the pros of hiring a nanny include:

1. It is more convenient to hire someone for in home care.

2. Children receive personalized attention.

3. The hours are more flexible than with other daycare options.

4. Children are able to stay in a surrounding they are familiar with.

Some of the cons of hiring a nanny include:

1. There is an extensive amount of paperwork involved with hiring a nanny including taxes.

2. You or the nanny will have to schedule playtime with other children.

3. This is the most expensive childcare option.

4. There is no supervision for the nanny.

5. If the nanny becomes ill you may end up without care for your child.

When considering different childcare options for your family, you will want to weigh the pros and cons of each type and how it would work with your family dynamic. Some children will do well in a larger group setting, while others may feel more comfortable in a home setting. Once you have decided on the type of childcare that will work best, the next step is to research the different options available in your area.

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