While we like to believe that we can do it all on our own, sometimes we do need a little extra help when it comes to our children. This can often feel like a stressful situation, as it requires that we put our trust in those we may have never met before, while hoping they actively participate in our children’s mental and emotional development. However, child care services can truly add so much to a child’s life, from creating new friendships and opportunities for socialization to providing an environment that guarantees educational success.
When it comes to child care services, there are so many options available, ranging from nannies and au pairs to daycares, such as 2000 Days Daycare. Each type of service is able to offer something unique, so let’s explore the various options below.
Daycare centres are one of the more popular choices for working parents when it comes to daily care. Offering either half-day or full-day services, daycares provide services such as activities, naps, meals, and possibly outings. Daycares strive to establish building blocks of learning, socialization, and communication to ensure your child’s success. Since you are unable to spend that time with your child, reputable daycares actively work to ensure your child continues to grow and develop. They understand that the first few years of a child are critical in establishing cognitive and soft skills, so they integrate the educational curriculum into their everyday activities to ensure your child is getting the best care possible.
Day homes are not too dissimilar from daycare centres in that they provide a group care service while you’re away at work. However, as the name suggests, the service runs out of a family home rather than an established business. This can, perhaps, mean that it is in a location more convenient for you– perhaps they live in the same neighbourhood– but it also runs the risk of being less accessible. Day homes often rely on word of mouth, so you may not even have the opportunity to hear about it. That said, day homes typically take fewer children in to ensure they have enough space, so those who need more individualized attention may benefit from attending a day home.
For those who prefer to bring the service to them, then perhaps nannies are an option to consider. Whether you require their services for the entire day or a few hours a week, you can establish a routine in which an individual comes and cares for your children. Nannies often become more involved with the family, and may also be responsible for cooking and cleaning. Their goal is to keep the home and everyone in it running smoothly until you’ve come home.
If you’re looking to enhance the nanny experience, then consider hiring an au pair. An au pair is a person from a different country who provides live-in child care for your family. Au pairs can spend years with a single family, so the bond you can form can be quite special. Their role is exclusively focused on the children, so house cleaning is not generally included in their job description.
Babysitters are a classic, tried-and-true child care service. While not generally used for consistent, daily child care, babysitters allow you to take a day or night off while they stay at home and watch the children. Babysitters are typically paid by the hour and consider this job to be part-time.
Child Care Swap
For those who have established a community of parents, this may be a solid child care alternative to babysitting. In this scenario, parents take turns looking after the children, in addition to their own. Not only can this method save you babysitting money, but it can be rather convenient, provided expectations, availability, and reciprocity are clearly established at the beginning.