Truths about Home Daycare from a Provider

Home daycare can be given bad press, with reports of children being unsafe, eating unhealthily, or doing nothing but watching television all day. The truth is, there are many home daycare providers who care deeply about the well-being of the children they care for, are aware of the role they play in those children’s development, and take their responsibilities very seriously. Here are some things that you might not know about home daycare providers.

Families form tight bonds with providers.

Because preschool programs and large daycare centers have a larger number of children in attendance and a greater turnover rate in the staff, it’s difficult to develop meaningful relationships with not just the children, but with their families. Home daycare providers, on the other hand, have more meaningful and regular interactions and communications with children and their parents. They are more readily available for support and advice for parents and can work more closely with them to create the behavioral, social, and educational goals that each child needs. Consistency is incredibly important for young children, so having another relationship that makes them feel safe and secure is beneficial for their development.

A daycare provider’s day doesn’t end when the children leave.

The moment that the last child leaves a daycare provider’s home does not signal the end of their day. Rather, it’s the start of a clean-up period for that provider, wiping down toys and equipment, cleaning up leftover messes, scrubbing down the bathroom, and possibly doing dishes and laundry. They also will have to plan and prepare activities, plan meals, and tackle the record-keeping. This is why many providers have strict late pick-up policies – they need all the time they can get to prepare for the next day and still allow time to spend with their own families.

Smaller group size and multiple ages encourage learning.

A smaller group size means that each child in home daycare is able to receive more attention from the provider than in a larger group. Receiving more individualized care helps to foster a child’s social and emotional growth. Because home daycares usually accept a range of ages, children have the opportunity to interact with others who may be younger or older than they are. These mixed-age groups give children the opportunity to learn from each other. Another advantage to these mixed groups is less competitive behavior between children and less pressure to achieve because all the children are at various learning levels.

Not every provider will be a good fit.

Parents may hold a misconception that, just because they’ve decided to go with a home daycare, everything will automatically go smoothly and fall into place for their child. This is, unfortunately, not the case. There can be a situation where the child fits in perfectly with the daycare group and gets along well with the provider, but the parents have different views on how their child should be cared for. Conversely, the parents and provider could have a fantastic relationship, but the child simply is not able to adjust to the group, no matter how hard anyone tries. To maximize the chances that everything will fit together, parents should do their homework – research a variety of daycare providers and ask thorough questions.