As a parent, picking or selecting the best form of childcare for your child or children can feel overwhelming because we love our children and making simple decisions on their behalf sometimes can be daunting.
After deciding to go with home-based childcare, selecting the right childcare services for your child or children becomes the next problem and that’s because there are so many factors you’ll have to consider. The factors to consider when selecting a home-based childcare provider are numerous, factors such as affordability, curriculum, accessibility, and location usually come into play when selecting one. Finding a home-based childcare centre that meets all your needs can be difficult and even when you eventually do as a parent you’ll want to be sure that the home-based provider you have chosen to go with has everything necessary to help your child grow and that they can be trusted as well so you can rest easy knowing that your child’s security is being prioritized.
Parents just like you have long preferred home-based childcare services over other forms of childcare even before the COVID-19 lockdown. In 2012 a national survey conducted in the US showed that 29.5% of families rely on home-based childcare in comparison to 11.9% who preferred childcare centres and 20.8% who use other options. Interestingly, over the last decade, the number has been on the rise.
Why home-based childcare? Why has it become so popular? Why should I pick it over other forms of childcare? To find out more about the reasons why many families prefer home-based childcare, continue reading.
What is home-based childcare?
Home-based childcare, also commonly referred to as “at home daycare” or “family” is a form of childcare where you employ and pay someone to take care of your child or children from within a home. This type of childcare service has grown popular for several reasons but a lot of parents seem to favour it because it’s often easier to find a local caregiver close to your residence and also because their hours can sometimes be flexible.
A typical home-based caregiver will watch close to 6 children or less on any given day. The variation in the number of children home-based caregivers can take care of is usually based on the local and state regulations or the caregiver’s decision. The curriculum of home-based caregivers are structured to help your children and depending on the caregiver you choose for home-based childcare, there may be more freedom in the curriculum they offer which means your children get to grow at their own pace which makes learning a comfortable yet exciting experience for them.
Unlike daycare centres (also known as childcare centres), home-based childcare offers you the convenience of knowing that your child is being attended to all the time. Even before the COVID-19 virus became known to the world, home-based childcare services have always given parents a sense of relaxation knowing that with fewer children and caregivers around their loved ones, the spread of germs is reduced.
Benefits of home-based childcare
Now that you have some sort of knowledge about what home-based childcare is, let’s quickly look at the top 10 benefits of home-based childcare.
First of all, the wellbeing of a child or children is the degree to which the child or children feel safe and relaxed, and enjoy the activities they are engaged in. Since the children will be learning from a location they are already familiar with and also around faces they are familiar with, it improves their wellbeing.
2. Low child / Adult ratio
A low child/adult ratio enables caregivers to adjust the education and care to meet the individual needs, interests, and routines of each child. The ratios are usually determined by the Ministry of Education and in some countries, the caregivers are only allowed to care for up to 4 children under the age of 6 and 2 children under the age of 2. Compared to many centre-based services that cater for as many as 5 children under the age of 2 per adult and 10-15 children over the age of 2.
3. Builds secure attachments
Research has long established the importance of children developing secure relationships with the people in their lives right from the beginning. These relationships are crucial in forming the foundation that determines their behaviour and attitude in relationships later on in life. Home-based early childhood education usually consists of the same caregiver consistently taking care of your child or children which provides the opportunity to develop predictable and warm relationships between you; the caregiver and your child.
Home-based caregivers provide parents with more flexibility when compared to other forms of childcare services. Some Home-based caregivers can fit your schedule into the strict opening hours of traditional centres which means you’ll only have to decide the hours you want your child or children to be taken care of and it’ll be handled by the caregiver.
5. Less stress
With home-based childcare, your child’s or children’s needs and routines are met responsively and quickly which makes your child or children feel cared for. This is only possible because the caregivers are only allowed to care for a small number of children which gives them the time and opportunity to handle all their needs.
6. Group size
The group size is one major difference between home-based childcare and traditional daycare centres. Daycare centres can cater for the needs of up to 15 children with only 2 adults which isn’t ideal as the needs of each child will not be properly taken care of. The same cannot be said about home-based childcare services because the number of children a caregiver can take care of has been dialled down to around 6 which means that the caregiver can better handle the specific needs and interests of your children.
The noise in a home-based setting can be carefully restricted and monitored. The feature of home-based childcare service comes in handy in situations where your child or children find it difficult to cope in louder or busier environments.
8. Child development
In home-based childcare, you can optimize the development of your child’s motor skills. With closer attention to each child, the caregiver will have more 1 on 1 time with your child or children which means they can better assist them in improving all their skill sets which prepares them for school later down the road. Additionally, by helping them hone their motor skills, they’ll be able to learn how to play well with others or pick up interests in sports or any other physical activity they may enjoy doing.
Location is a major benefit of home-based childcare since it’s basically a home away from home. Home-based childcare makes the transition easier for children who are leaving their parents for the day. They can feel more at home since the surroundings of a home-based childcare centre mimic a home which is more familiar to the child than a daycare centre.
10. Mixed-age group
In a home-based childcare centre, it’s more likely than less likely that the children under the care of the caregiver will form a mixed group setting and having mixed age groups is more advantageous to the children because they’ll be able to learn from each other’s actions. In a mixed age group, younger children will learn to follow instructions because other children are and they will also be able to mimic the actions of older children which will help them learn and develop faster.
Older children in a mixed group setting will be able to learn leadership skills by teaching the younger ones and becoming their role models. This ignites a sense of pride and accomplishment in children.
Home-based childcare services seem to offer more benefits when compared to other forms of childcare. Just because the number of children to be catered for in home-based centres isn’t as much as daycare centres don’t make managing home-based childcare centres easier. Home-based childcare centres also face some of the challenges that daycare centres face that’s why many home-based childcare centres have started using apps like Wündercare to help them better run their home-based centres. Apps like Wündercare do not only help caregivers run their centres but also provide their parents with real-time updates which mean that as a parent, not being physically present doesn’t deter you from seeing how your child grows and how well they are being taken care of. Interested in the app? Then you can visit them at mywundercare.com to learn about this amazing childcare app.