Home-Based vs. Center-Based Daycares

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Home-Based vs. Center-Based Daycares Home-based and center-based daycares have been the topic of numerous conversations between parents over many generations. In most cities, there are multiple types of daycares to choose from. With consideration of the cost and availability, levels of care, and the training or continued education of the caregivers, selection of a daycare can be a difficult process for a family. Center-based daycares provide a set fee/hour and structured environment, but home-based daycares may provide a more flexible and relaxed, child-friendly atmosphere. Cost can sometimes be a determining factor when looking into the type of daycare to use. Center-based daycares primarily have a set fee per week, while home-based daycares usually have the flexibility of charging per hour. For a parent who works only part-time, or has a child in daycare for only a few hours, just to get a break, it may not be that hard of a decision. Home-based daycares also tend to get more subsidies from local, state, and federal programs. It is easier for them to keep their costs down. Availability also can be an issue with working parents. Most daycares usually open at 6 a.m. but, center-based daycares will usually stay open until 6:30 p.m. while home-based daycares will only be available until 5 p.m. If the parent has to commute a distance to and from work, the later pick-up time may be more convenient. There is also the family/friend daycare option available to some families. This can be a benefit if a parent’s work schedule includes late days, overnights, or weekends, and also is very cost-effective. In those relatively rare instances in which centers can accommodate variable schedules, the cost is high, particularly for infants and toddlers (Oliveira, 2007). Another consideration for parents is whether to use a daycare that focuses on specific ages, or one that can
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