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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sorry if this has been covered before...I'm a SAHM so I don't come over here often. I may have to return to work b/c we are broke broke broke. Anyway, I used to think home care was better - more attention, less clinical atmosphere - but now I'm wondering. I only have experience with one home care provider, but there is lots of TV, lots of jumk food, not a lot of interaction. I am wondering if a daycare center is better since there are more people therefore the workers have accountability, if that makes sense. I don't know...I really don't even want to go back to work, I'm just freaking out right now. Thanks for reading. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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I've seen great home daycares and bad ones; and I've seen great centers and bad centers. My feeling is that a center has more oversight and more supervision of teachers and more accountability than a single person with a daycare at their home. That's not to say that a home daycare couldn't be great, it's just that the policies may not be as strictly enforced.
 

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Sounds like you just knew a bad home dcp. This is how I looked at it:<br><br>
Home DCP:<br>
-more flexible hours<br>
-less kids = fewer germs<br>
-consistent caregiver<br>
-more control over food<br>
-less expensive<br><br>
Center<br>
-Closed on some holidays that I had to work/teacher work days (the ones in my area all went according to the public school calendar)<br>
-moved kids into different rooms every few months<br>
-wanted conformity wrt to things like sippy cups (ie don't bring them here OR let them use them at home)<br>
-more expensive<br><br>
Since we lived far away from family at the time, our dcp and her kids became part of our family, and we had a great relationship with them. When I needed outpatient surgery and had to be at the hospital at 6 am, our dcp had no qualms about having us drop dd off at 5:30, and kept her until I was home and alert later that day. She wouldn't even let us pay her extra. There's no way that would've happened with a center.
 

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It sounds to me like you had a bad experience with a home care provider.<br><br>
I've had my son in home care, center care and I've worked as a center care provider.<br><br>
Based on my experiences with the above, I would only place my kids in the home care environment. I would just look for (and not settle for less) a good home care provider that shared my parenting ideals.<br><br>
While I see the point that in a center, care providers are more responsible because they have a boss. In my experience, this is true in some respects. At the same time, they are "just" employees, rather than self-employed/responsible for their own business/income/etc. The turnover at the center that I worked in was very high and I didn't like that my son could have a different teacher each month. Also, I worked for a little above min. wage plus low cost daycare. I just felt like: if the job for center care provider pays the same as a fast food restaurant that the quality of employee wasn't much different.
 

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I only have experience with one daycare center and I LOVE them. The only disadvantage is I know he picked up a few more bugs at the beginning than he would have at home. After a few months he got much better and is doing great now that we know some it is allergies making him more succeptible.<br><br>
But this is why I prefer a (good) daycare center:<br><br>
1. If one person calls in sick you have someone to watch your child<br>
2. More supervision and accountability of staff<br>
3. Video monitoring is the norm<br>
4. Less tv, more activities.<br>
5. Gets children used to a routine more easily and allows them the fun of being around other children.<br><br>
Another thing I would look for in a daycare is make sure they let you bring in your own food for your child, homemade or whatever you prefer to feed him/her. My daycare is completely flexible. I can bring in his own food, homemade in containers and they are great about it. I can also make sure he gets organic milk. A friends daycare will not let them bring in homemade food and insists the children eat what they provide (chicken nuggets, regular hormone laden milk and other processed crap). The irony is my friends pay almost twice as much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks, you made me feel a little better about looking into home care. I actually thought centers were less expensive...I'm just starting to look into this. At any rate, I'm still not sure if it's worth going back to work, especially since DH and I really don't want me to.
 

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We've used both. We started off with center care.<br><br>
We started out with center care primarily due to the accountability and oversight. Our DS would never be with just one caregiver, parents would be coming in/out all the time, etc. The downside of the center became obvious over time. There was just an instability in care. Rooms were combined during drop-off and pick-up, teachers left, there were subs that didn't know us, etc. Every 6 months, DS would have to move to a new room and get adjusted to new caregivers. We stayed with our center from 7 months to 2 years and then it just didn't work anymore. DS moved into the "preschool" at 2 years where the ratio was lower and there were only 2 teachers per room. The main teacher for his room went on maternity leave before we moved up and the remaining teacher was young. She did not really want to be with 12-14 2 year olds! The sub teacher fluctuated while they found a replacement. Then the 1st teacher quit. They got another new teacher. The two new teachers didn't get along, so one was moving. etc. etc. DS suffered! It was horrible. We tried to stick it out since it was clear that it was improving when they finalized one teacher, but we couldn't do it anymore.<br><br>
We switched to a home daycare and could not be more pleased. DS has been there more than 7 months now and has the same caregiver every day at drop-off and pickup. They just love each other. But, there is definitely less oversight. I really feel like we found the right DCP, it is a great fit. We visited another when looking and it was clear that one would not work out. We're so happy that DS can stay until he starts kindergarden and can have continuous care this whole time. Being a home daycare, though, there is the possibilty that our DCP will take vacation or be sick and we may need to stay home or have backup. We're fortunate in that our DCP works with her 2 sisters (so it's not just one person) and also her 2 daughters have a home daycare a few streets over, so when she did vacation, they were able to cover. We'll see how it works in the future.<br><br>
For another child, DH is adamant that we will not put them in center care as an infant. He would like nanny care until the child is old enough for the home daycare. She accepts at 18mo, but plans to take on the younger sibling of another DC child as a favor to the family, so that may work for us as well.<br><br>
I feel like they're part of the family! Yesterday, she sent us home with some homemade Zhong Zi because DH commented on the smell of the cooking when he dropped off DS.<br><br>
ETA - I think both have their pluses/minuses. I was really against home daycare when we started this journey because I was just so worried about something happening when we weren't there.<br><br>
FWIW, our home daycare is less than 2/3 of what we were paying at the center.
 

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In Arizona, there are very few good daycare centers.<br><br>
(my experience is only AZ centers, I don't think all states are like this)<br><br>
Even when the parents look at the "What we did today" board and see the list of things the kids did that day, it is largely a lie. There is so much controlled chaos that there isn't enough time to do the things they wish they could.<br><br>
Many of the kids are there 10-12 hours five days a week. So, the kids have very little self control. There are almost ALWAYS more kids then they tell you there will be.<br><br>
There are a few centers out here that I think are wonderful though. But, not many.<br><br>
I would prefer home daycare until the child is four-five. I think the year before kindergarten is a good year to make a change. BUT, if you find a good home care, with kids the same age as your child who will be going to kindergarten, I would keep them together until school.<br><br>
I have a daycare, and I have had the same kids for 12 years. Including my own child, I had six kids who grew up together and went to school together. After school and through the summers they were with me. It was a second home, but I had structure, and rules like a daycare, but more flexible.<br><br>
In my opinion, the most important thing you can give your child is a stable enviroment with good friends. That can be done in many different types of settings. Centers, homes, a church based center. You just need to find the right place.<br><br>
*one more plug for home daycare though* I have worked in centers and in my home. When I look back over 20 years, I can tell you each child's name, what they liked to eat, who their siblings were, who their parents were, their birthdays and in some cases what they are doing 20 years later. But, my center kids, even though I have pictures of them, I only remember the worst kids. (Nicky, Kevin and Aubrey) Sad huh? The ones who didn't rock the boat have been completely forgotten.
 

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I feel more comfortable with my DD in a daycare center than in someone's home UNLESS I have personally known the home DCP for quite some time. There's just so much that can be done by one sitter behind closed doors. Most daycare centers are not ideal (including ours), either, but I feel better knowing the workers have accountability to other workers. Not only that, but there are certain standards set by the state that daycare centers have to follow in order to continue operating. That may not be the case in a lot of home daycares.
 

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As a previous poster said, you'll find good and bad daycares and home cares, it's not cut & dried in neat little groups. You have to pick the situation which works best for you. My child is obviously loved by his caregivers and enjoys spending his days there - that is important to me in which ever setting I would choose.<br><br>
I currently love our daycare setting:<br>
-My son thrives on the structure in a class of similarly aged kids, whereas I'm not sure how he would do in a home with children of varying ages. Would that affect his physical and/or emotional growth?<br>
-While there has been some turnover in personnel, the ones who truly care about what they do, remain - my son is not with a new lady every month.<br>
-And yes, if someone is sick, I know there will be a replacement.<br>
-Everyone is accountable for their actions. If I were choosing a homecare, I would only choose one who is registered with my state - again, because they are accountable.
 

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I'm replying without reading all the above. Of course you have to look for the right place, of course there will be bad home daycares, but I love my DCP (She has openings! PM me anyone in the People's Republic) and chose a home daycare because:<br><br>
1. I wanted DS to be around kids that were different ages, and I think this has really helped him grow, both in looking up to the older kids and watching out for the "baby"<br>
2. I wanted a consistent caregiver. A lot of people choose a nanny for this reason... but the people I know who actually have nannies seem to experience a lot of turnover with them. DS has been cared for by the same wonderful woman since he was 3 mo.<br>
3. cheaper (well, it was!)<br>
4. I didn't like that the centers were talking about curriculum, etc., I just want him to play and be loved, for crying out loud!<br>
5. fewer kids, more individual care<br><br>
ETA my caregiver was having her sister work as a full-time asst for awhile -- it was great because there was always coverage, and as someone said, it made me feel they'd be more accountable than one person alone. Now I trust her enough it doesn't matter, but it did make me feel better going in.
 

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If I was going purely on my own experiences (both being in daycare and having a son in daycare), I would say never, ever go with a home center. The one home center we looked at featured a huge TV with bored kids parked in front of it, a listless babysitter, and seemed dirty. I couldn't get out of there fast enough. In contrast our small, mixed-age center has no TV, nearly no turnover (two teachers have been there nearly 20 yrs), great ratios, and organic food from the farmer's market. (It does cost a small fortune.) Also, I was in a small, mixed-age center as a kid and I loved it.<br><br>
However, it really really really depends. I've had friends with the exact opposite experience, who will never use a center based on their experiences. You have to visit both. There are some fabulous centers and there are some fabulous home daycares, and there are horrible versions of both.
 

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I think you will know what is right for you and your children when you find it. I am going back to work full time in the fall and have been going through the same thing as you. I looked at centers and home day cares. There were positive and negatives to both. I went back and forth for months on which to choose until I found the one. It is a preschool at a home. There are two providers and they are going to take both of my kids. Ask a lot of open ended questions. You will learn a lot this way. Good luck.
 

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I think it can go both ways, it just depends on the people.<br><br>
I worked at an inhome daycare and it was awful. I eventually quit, and my bestfriend took her son out of their care because I told her the truth about what happened there.<br><br><br>
One child was lost, he wasn't being watched and he ran about halfway down the block until a neighbor called my boss (the child was 2) This was my bestfriends son, and my boss told me she would fire me if I told this information to my friend. I told her once I quit and she soon took her son to a daycare center.<br><br>
Children would be left screaming because my boss said crying it out made them tough<br><br>
she encouraged mothers to stop breastfeeding because it made them clingy<br><br>
she spanked some children<br><br>
she called some of the children dumb<br><br>
often children would go home with bites without any explanation to parents<br><br>
children watched a lot of TV<br><br>
she would take on more kids then licensed for to make more money<br><br><br><br>
This is just one daycare, but the thought of putting my child somewhere that I really do not know what is going on frightens me.<br><br>
I can vivedly remember being in daycare as a child and being forcefed, spanked, and had soap in my mouth at the age of 3-5. My mother didn't know this until much later...<br><br>
There are a lot of great things about home daycare, but I highly suggest you drop by unexpectedly a lot so you can get a better idea of what things are like, etc.
 

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I'm a centre mom myself.<br>
1) I can pop in at any time and not ring a doorbell first.<br>
2) The hours and overall availability of our particular centre is just FANTASTIC....I personally don't need the extended hours as I have a great family network but since I do work shifts at a hospital the option of extended hours is a HUGE bonus (meaning that the centre is open until 11pm for people that work evenings which isn't ideal but hey if it means putting food on the table KWIM).<br>
3) I love that everything is documented.<br>
4) I love the activities that our centre provides...their summer program especially is awesome.<br>
5) Our centre has all ages which is wonderful~ infant right through to 12 yo.<br>
6) I never have to worry about my provider taking time off for any reason and trying to match my schedule to that.<br>
7) I am NEVER intimidated about addressing issues of concern that for some reason I had a hard time doing with private care.<br>
8) My son does very well with structure.<br>
9) I like how everything is monitored and visible.<br>
10) Our centre also provides many additional perks like a hair stylist that comes into the centre, tutoring program for the school age kids, parents night out once a month (this is for preschoolers and school age kids), many education outings and fieldtrips.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>SeaDoula</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/8209859"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There are a lot of great things about home daycare, but I highly suggest you drop by unexpectedly a lot so you can get a better idea of what things are like, etc.</div>
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I think this is definitely true of any kind of care (nanny, home daycare, center, etc.). I would not send my kid to a place where the staff didn't encourage unexpected visits and having the parents welcome whenever they felt like it.<br><br>
One reason of the many reasons I love my son's daycare is that parents are welcome for ANY length of time. If a mom has the morning off and wants to spend the morning, she's welcome. They also have parents coming and going at all times, and we are a tight community of parents, so I often get reports from other parents on what they saw my son doing.<br><br>
I definitely would be very, very leery of a daycare that wasn't comfortable with visiting parents. If they aren't comfortable with visiting parents, what does that say?
 

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We sent our son to one daycare center (for one day a week)and I hated it. But again it depends on the person/center....<br><br>
We've had our son in home day care since he was younger. He's now 3. For me the most important thing to remember when looking for a home daycare is the ratio of infants and kids to the sitter.<br><br>
The sitter we have now will only ever have 2 kids that she is watching. Right now its only my son and I really prefer that way.
 

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We've just started sending our daughter to a home daycare, and I think there are pros and cons. It's a very nurturing, laid back, family atmosphere, with children of various ages, a dog, a cat, and a natural family routine to the day. These things are very important to us. With the mixed-age environment, the older kids help to model behavior and care for the younger kids, and Ella gets to experience the feeling of being in a big family (she's a first and, we hope, only). We think that her being stuck in a room with bunch of other toddlers (she's 16 months) and a revolving crew of providers would be weird and undesirable.<br><br>
On the other hand, I don't like the food that she gets there, and they do watch a little bit of television (videos, not broadcast, so no commercials). In my ideal world, she would not eat any processed food, and she would not be exposed to any "screen time," but, in my limited experience, daycare never provides an ideal world.<br><br>
Rachael
 

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My ds was MISERABLE in a home daycare. I had heard wonderful things about this woman............but she was too busy dealing with HER family and HER kids to really pay attention to mine.<br><br>
In a center, they don't try to get all their personal stuff done while they're watching your kid, like they might at home.<br><br>
And if your home provider is sick, you have no backup. But if a provider is sick at a center, they call in a sub and you still have care.
 

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i have a strong, probably unfair bias against centers. I was the director at a large center with an accredited kindergarten early in my career. The whole business of it was nauseating. It was all about profit and very little about the kids when were really got down to it. They had an excellent program but it was overshawdowed by their main mission - profit.<br><br>
My kids have always been in home care and we love it. We've been with the same dcp for over 4 years now and she's like a member of the family. Really all the families who go there are close. Its wonderful! Oh, and this week was one big chicken pox party! That would never happen in a center ;-)
 
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