Daycare is often a solution for families that are faced with lower incomes, demanding work schedules or other obligations. And while they are touted as providing many benefits for your baby through his formative years, infant daycare centers can also have their disadvantages. Knowing the pros and cons of daycare can help you in choosing the best source of childcare for you and your baby.
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If you need outside assistance for childcare, daycare or nannies are common alternatives. However, sending your baby to daycare is often cheaper than setting up a private nanny. As of 2012, the cost for full-time daycare for a baby ranged from an average of $4,600 to $15,000 per year, depending on what part of the country you live, according to U.S. News and World Report. Some daycare centers can be pricier than others though, costing you more. A private nanny can cost you 2 to 3 times the cost of sending your baby to some daycare centers.
Illness at Daycare
Your baby may come home with ailments, including ear infections and colds, more often if she goes to daycare. This is due to constant interaction with many other babies and multiple providers. In addition, many centers do not want to provide daycare services to children who are sick, as they will spread germs to others. This may leave you in a rush to find an alternative childcare option or having to call off work to tend to the baby.
Safety and Peace of Mind
Daycares cannot operate without meeting minimum safety and sanitation regulations, says Pregnancy.org. In addition, daycares cannot operate without passing certain criteria. This includes licensing, being supervised by experienced administration and having a planned program established that aids in the development of physical, emotional, language, social and cognitive skills, according to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. As far as safety is concerned, daycare centers must pass inspections to ensure all areas are up to code and present no health or safety hazards to children.
Having Your Own Say
Daycares usually try to dictate some of your childcare decisions, such as when your baby should be off the bottle, when she should take naps and when she should be weaned off of a pacifier, says Pregnancy.org. While some parents may like this, you may not. Gauge how much your daycare will have an influence on your child’s routine, and determine if this influence is too much.