How to Choose the Best DayCare for Your Baby

Big Decision — It’s normal to be a bit anxious. First, it’s important to know the different daycare options.

Pros of A Daycare Center

  • Many have an educational focus.
  • Plenty of opportunity to socialize with peers.
  • Structured environment with a consistent routine and schedule
  • Must be licensed and abide by state regulations (such as teacher student ratios and CPR certification)
  • May accept infants as young as 6 weeks old
  • Reliable hours
  • May remain open during the summer and some holidays

Cons of a Daycare Center

  • The high cost of daycare. It varies a lot based on where you live in the US, but the average tuition is about $850 per month for an infant
  • Your child will be exposed to illnesses from other kids and be sick more often
  • Daytime hours only, which can be difficult for parents who work the night shift

Pros of a Home Daycare

  • A smaller group of kids, so our child may get more individualized attention and less exposure to illness.
  • A homier environment, which may make some kids (and parents) feel more comfortable.
  • May accept infants as young as 6 weeks old
  • Plenty of opportunities to socialize with peers
  • Typically less expensive than a daycare center
  • May have flexibility with drop-off/pick-up times or offer evening hours, since the daycare is operated out of the owner’s home

Cons of Home Daycare

  • Not all states require home daycares to be licensed.
  • May have less structure
  • Kids usually are not divided by age, which could be beneficial or not depending on your child

What to Look For in a Daycare

  • A good reputation
  • A good daycare will have a welcoming, friendly atmosphere and be known for its nurturing environment.
  • Ask your neighbors and other parents if it is aa popular daycare.
  • Be mindful of your first impression. If you are unsure- do not choose that daycare.

Bottom line — word of mouth is the best help for choosing a daycare. If parents you like, like the daycare, odds are you will like it too.

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