If you have recently added to your family, or are planning to, the issue of child care is probably very much on your mind. The decision of whether to stay home with your children, send them to day care, or hire a nanny or other in-home child care professional is a personal one. If you are considering day care, you should take a few items into account.
Socialization Benefits for Day Care Kids
According to the Family and Childcare Trust, one of the best things about having your children in day care is the socialization she will get. In day cares, children are grouped with others similar in age and will play with kids from different backgrounds and upbringings and learn to compromise and share and work with a variety of kids.
Academics for Very Young Children
Many day care centers are much more than just babysitting; they offer structure and learning for young children. Children play games, hear stories, work on art projects and lay down the foundation of early learning that will benefit them for their entire lives. Many day cares work on teaching kids the alphabet, counting, the days of the week and different kinds of weather, among other things.
Cost of Day Care for Families on a Budget
If you definitely need some form of child care, you may find day care centers a more cost-effective choice than hiring a nanny or a full-time babysitter who is only watching your children. In addition, some day cares offer a sliding scale for fees or have scholarship programs for kids who come from lower-income families.
Day care centers can have downsides, too. For one thing, your child may pick up bad habits he otherwise would not have been exposed to -- at least not yet. If your child is around other children in day care who curse, spit or bite, your little one may get the idea that these are good ways to get attention.
Kids who stay home with you or a nanny will face less exposure to illnesses. In day care, your child will encounter a large number of small, germy people sharing a small space and breathing all over each other, which increases the chances of them passing illnesses back and forth to each other. In addition, if your child gets sick from day care frequently and you have to take off work to stay home with her, this can end up costing you a good deal of money.