My experience with in-home childcare programs versus other options has me convinced it is the best
As a Mom of three kids under the age of 8, I’ve tried it all – nannies, nanny-shares, daycare centers…you name it, I’ve tried them. I can’t explain my glee when I was finally able to enroll my youngest, Gus, at an in-home preschool in my neighborhood. The reason is simple – I spent most of my childhood in the care of an amazing in-home educator and loved every part of the experience. It was local, affordable, nurturing and gave me a community of kids that would become my best childhood friends. Below are the 5 reasons why I think that in-home childcare program is the best option for families and for children.
It’s centered on community-based learning
My son is able to be both an older child and a younger child in his mixed-age classroom which teaches him leadership, empathy and how to care for others. He is helpful with the babies, yet learns from the older children. Mixed age groups have increased his language comprehension, independence, empathy, and compassion for others.
It’s a low-ratio environment, but more affordable
I’ve struggled since the birth of my first son to find the highest quality childcare environment, but at a rate that didn’t ruin my family financially. Nannies were always outside of our budget and I was concerned about the crowded feeling of most large centers. In-home childcare is the best of both worlds – it’s less expensive than a nanny but I still get the personalized care of a low 1:6 ratio environment for my little one.
In-home childcare is personalized
There is something magical about an in-home childcare program – whether it’s the culture of the educator, language immersion, family-style meals or sitting on the front steps watching garbage trucks on collection day. The magic of the in-home childcare option is that every environment is different and fits the ethos of my parenting.
With three kids under 8, I think I spend most of my time driving to various activities and schools. In-home childcare programs are locally-based and connected by neighborhoods making it easy and convenient for pick up and drop off. Did I mention there’s no drop off line up in the morning?
It’s about play – which is what kids need
I could point to thousands of studies that discuss the importance of play-based curricula in preschools – yet as parents, we’re trained to think that quality is synonymous with the sterility of centers. Every day when I pick up my son and see the joy on his face – playing with his friends in a safe, nurturing environment, I couldn’t wish for a better place for him to be. And yes – the mom guilt subsides too.