In my experience working with children, I have learned that with every small hand I touch, I have the ability to leave a lasting impression. This is something I go by whenever I have a child come to me to talk about something that is going on at home, or at school. They have learned to trust me and with that trust I know I have impacted their life in some way.
A big issue for most parents is their child getting sick from other kids; due to the lack of cleaning that goes on in a daycare environment. When it comes to in-home childcare they tend to carry fewer germs due to the lower amount of kids. With having a lower amount of enrollment, the area is always kept clean. It is easier to keep track of what kid puts the building blocks in their mouth or the LEGOs up their noses. It can simply be taken away and properly washed, while still being able to attend to the kids.
With being in a home setting the area is limited to certain rooms which keep the number of toys in the space easier to clean up when the day is done. Whereas in daycare centers parents bring their children in regardless of if they have the flu, cough, or a runny nose. When this happens, the children go and play with other kids, throw the toys they were playing with around the room. The staff then cannot keep track of everything the child touches therefore, they are running the risk of other kids in the center getting sick due to the lack of cleaning of the toys that go around.
An example of a daycare center could be Kinder Care. Kinder Care is a daycare center that splits up their rooms based on ages of the children. When children get sick they have the child sit on a cot away from other kids but most often do not call the parents, or the parents cannot come get the child. The child then sits there and other kids come up to play with them so they do not feel alone, and end up catching the cooties that child has and spreads it throughout the center. Also, with being at a daycare center the facility is a much bigger area, that usually does not get cleaned until all the kids leave.
When all the kids are picked up the staff go to the rooms or area (depending on how the area is set up) and put the toys the away not bothering to disinfect them. This process also may take a while for the space being bigger compared to an in-home center.
Oftentimes when families walk into an after-school program they see how the kids have their artwork displayed on the wall and how their child is fitting in with the staff and other kids. With this, in an in-home center, the environment in which the kids stay has the home feel to it. It gives the children a relaxed environment and less to worry and stress about. When the parents drop their child off the child does not see the home as a daycare place. They potentially see the home as a friend's house and feels less intimidated when they are there. With being in a home setting the children can make it their home away from home.
Meaning, they can make it the way they want it. They can hang their pictures up, they can decide where they sit at the table or where they play. It gives the child a chance to express themselves without having the feeling of being judged and told exactly what to do. In an in-home daycare, they are not required to have the rules or the alphabet up for the children to see. They have the choice of what gets put up in the areas and are not required to have a set schedule. DCFS has guidelines and they inform the people who run the in-home daycare what is expected and it is the home that is required to follow them but in a way, they choose to follow it. In a daycare center, they have rules and standards on how the area needs to be set up. Lacking the personalized setting. Some centers should make sure they put up the alphabet, number lines, rules, and expectations. In a home daycare, it is not required of you to put up those kinds of items.
In a center they also should make sure they have the agenda available for the children to see, so they know the schedule and learn the schedule because often the schedule is the same day today. An example of a center schedule is from 2:30-3:00 they have free choice, 3-3:15 they have circle time, 3:15-3:30 is bathroom break, 3:30-4:15 is snack time, 4:15-4:45ish homework time, 4:45-5:30 is game/open gym time, 5:30-6:00 is free time. This schedule is the same for the entire week but may change times depending on what kids have homework and other activities like reading buddies, outside time, or drills. Centers can be personalized as long as they follow the guidelines of DCFS for the center. Often when you walk into a center you may not see children's artwork displayed. When they do display them, it is normally around the time of certain holidays or events.
In past experience, several parents have told me that their child needs to have a structure for them to listen to those higher up than them. With this, in a home environment, you have the choice on how to structure the activities that go on in your care. The main goal is to make sure things run smoothly for the children with as little to no disruption. They come up with an assortment of fun, age-appropriate activates for the kids to get involved with. The individual running the daycare makes sure they get toys for the variety of age groups they enroll. They have plenty of outdoor activities.
An advantage for a child being in an in-home daycare, the caretaker has the ability to teach the children how to clean up after themselves, by putting things away after they have used it, cleaning their dishes, washing off the tables etc. The children also have the ability to take naps and fall asleep easier for being a home environment rather than at a center. They make sure they keep track of the kids' behaviors and talk to the parents if necessary about a child's behavior whereas in a center the children can run around, make messes, yell, etc. without being told every time to stop and correct the behavior.
Once the children arrive they go in to play but are not told to make sure they clean up after themselves before moving on to play with something else. The advantage of placing your child in a center gives the child a chance to better their education. Meaning, the centers as part of their requirements is to hold educational games, stories, and activities for the children. In a home setting sometimes, the caretakers do not use educational games, stories etc. in their homes. It would be best to find a place that does involve the child's education so they do not fall behind. Another thing centers do not do is keep full track of the children's behaviors. With this, the parents are not enforcing anything when they go home because they were not told that their child hit another person, or was talking back. So, the child then gets away with the bad behavior which could then cause issues down the road.
Some parents may worry about the size of the daycare due to their child's lack of social skills. Often, in a home setting, the area is much small so they are not required to have a lot of staff. Typically, they have anywhere from 1 to 4 caregivers sometimes more depending on enrollment. The lower numbers of staff go with the lower amount of enrollment the home has. The children enrollment can be anywhere from 3-15 children depending on the space. DCFS also has certain rules that go along with the number of kids the home gets. DCFS requires one caregiver for every eight kids, and one full-time caregiver and one part-time caregiver for every twelve kids.
This is different compared to those in a daycare center. In a home, they do not section off the kids based on their age or grade in school. They have mixed age groups with children of all different ages that always stay together. With having a lower enrollment, the children get to have more individualized time with the caretakers and form the bonds with them. That way if something was to happen they would be able to trust them and go to them if they needed help. The children will also feel comfortable around other kids, and the caretakers.
In a daycare center, the area they have the kids is bigger than a home setting. Often, they have separate rooms to split up the age groups. Usually, they will put kindergarteners in their own rooms, first and second graders in another room, third and fourth in another and fifth graders get their own area. Some centers will also have a nursery for the babies who get their own room away from the other rooms.
At the center, I currently work at they separate the children into groups by age. They have several rooms within their area. In one building they have all the infants and toddlers split up into different rooms. In the other building next door, they separate toddlers and kindergarteners into several other classrooms. With having split up the children they have to have the appropriate amount of staff for each room.
DCFS requires there to be two people per one child if alone and 3 people as a minimum in a space. With that, there is typically around 30+ caregivers depending on the enrollment of the age groups. Enrollment often is anywhere from 20 kids to 50 kids sometimes more. Due to having a larger amount of enrollment, the children often times do not get one on one time with the staff resulting in the child is less likely to form a deep bond with the caregiver(s) and not going to them if something was to happen.
The cost of daycare can be very difficult for a family. They may worry about how they are going to pay the weekly bill of having their child in daycare. A plus to enrolling your child in an in-home day center is that they are typically cheaper than most centers. Usually when it comes to an in-home daycare center the cost depends on the child's age, how long they are going to be there, are they full time (meaning will come every day) or are they part-time (come a few days out of the week) In past experience we charged by the day but had a contract specifying how many days they were committing to. When we first started the parents were charged $200 per week or $40 per day.
After that, we would raise the price depending on how much time they were there for or how much we needed to make to keep the place running. In a daycare center, the cost is more expensive than an in-home center. Depending on where the child goes (private upper-class daycare, after-school child care, regular full-time daycare) they all charge differently. Usually if one was to pay for child care through a center they should expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,200 per month. Some centers will charge $600 a month. It all depends on where you go and what type of education you would like for your child while they are not in school.
Parents want to make sure their child is well cared for in the proper hands. In a home daycare if the child has an accident they may take the child's clothes and wash them for the child instead of taking them and packing them in a bag causing the bag to smell. They also make sure they provide one on one time with teaching the children skills, learning right from wrong, how to care for themselves like picking out their clothes, helping to clean the table or wash (depending on their age), show them how to clean their rooms. It is a more personalized service geared towards the child.
Parents have the ability to talk with the caretakers about their child's needs and what they would like to see happen with their child while they are in their care. At a center, if a child has an accident they do not have the ability to wash the child's clothes so they simply have the child change into something else and take their soiled clothes and put them in a bag to be put back in their backpack to go home. With this, the child's bag then gets gross and they run the risk having to buy a new bag because the other one smells like urine. Centers do not do their best to provide the child with one on one needs so when they teach the whole group something the children who do not know what is going on are expected to keep up with the others. Therefore, they then fall behind and when school rolls around they fall behind then too. They do not focus on the child's full needs, and when the parents have concerns they usually get put on the back burner because the center does not have time to make a list of every child's needs and make sure every child's needs are being met.
This, then, starts to cause a lot of issues with the parents and creates tension between the center and the parents. With this, the center then has a negative look on them from the parents.
The proper education plays a huge factor in the proper care and continued education for children. At an in-home daycare, their education requirements are different compared to those at a center. This being DCFS does not require them to have the same education as a center would need to have. In a home, they have the ability to decide what to do while still filling in the requirements from DCFS. The staff also are not required to have a certain education requirement to be able to be a caregiver.
They are simply expected to help with simple tasks, and being able to care for the children. In centers, they are required by DCFS to teach certain subjects to the kids of different age groups. Those who work at the center typically have an education or teaching degree or they are going to school to become a teacher. That is a plus when you enroll your child at a center. They educated staff members compared to those in a home daycare center.
It is always important to make sure the staff that is hired goes through the proper background checks and education requirements. With this, when it comes to in-home daycare, the staff members do not go through a very detailed background check. They have requirements they are expected to meet and do have interviews with the head staff member running the daycare. They do not get interviewed by DCFS. Once the staff member has the interview the head staff member reports to DCFS who that person is and gives them their contact information. Once this happens DCFS may require them to get fingerprinted but it is not always needed.
In-home centers also may pick and choose what trainings to do each year and may not require you get recertified in all training. In a daycare center, the staff members go through a detailed application and full interview. Their information gets sent over to DCFS who requires them to get a background check, as well as get fingerprinted. If they do not complete these tasks in a certain time frame they will be taken off the payroll and sometimes fired. Centers will also require recertification of all training.
Different centers you work for require different pieces of training beforehand and certifications to be completed prior to being hired. These training and certifications play a huge role in the center to make sure things go smoothly and everyone knows how to handle a certain situation. In a home center, they are required to have a certain amount of certificate hours, but not college credit. Certificate hours are clock hours. This is to maintain their position in the workplace. In-home centers change what training and certifications are needed throughout the year so it is important to stay up to date on what you need to have completed and make sure you are communicating with your boss.
A daycare center requires their employees to have college credit hours to maintain their job. They are also required to have CPR/First Aid/AED certified. Some centers require other certifications about child abuse, rape, etc. Centers also may require you have past experience with working with kids and other training. They also most often than not require you have a degree in education/teaching.
When walking through the doors of a daycare we want to feel that our child will be comfortable, learn new things, and to simply have fun. Overall, when it comes to childcare it is best to look at all the options and decide whether an in-home daycare fits your needs or if a daycare center is the better route. There are many pros and cons to both, but I feel overall it is best to go with an in-home daycare to start simply because they are cheaper, have more individualized interactions with the children, and is an easier transition on the child to get used to not being around family.
In-home daycares have the ability to further the child’s educational needs and be able to focus more on individualized time with the child compared to those at a daycare center. As stated before centers do tend to be more expensive, less individualized time, and is harder for the child to adjust to the crazy setting with a lot of kids around.