Family Magazine

Daycare Vs Home Daycare Vs Full Time Maid: How Do I Select the Best Childcare Option?

By Shwetashetye
Daycare vs home daycare vs full time maid: how do I select the best childcare option?

Image courtesy Stuart Miles at freedigitalphotos.net

Ever since the birth of  child, those precious days of maternity leave spent with your child are just like heaven. But, after the initial three or four months of having a baby, a time comes in every working mother’s life when she has to resume work. The most asked questions by every working mom ready to join work is – daycare vs home daycare vs full time maid, how do I select?

The decision of where and with whom to leave your little one can be one of the toughest that you will ever make. But stressing is not going to help! As the population of nuclear families and working mothers increases in India, the number of good quality childcare options have seen growth too. This dilemma has no single judgment call. Ofcourse the best option will always be being at home to take care of the little one. But, due to personal growth reasons or financial obligations, women have to make this call.

Lets take a look at the most commonly sought after childcare options available in our country and the pros and cons of each one.

Daycare

A very professionally managed institution where children from the range of 3 months to 7 years or more are catered to. These are managed by a team of experts and are expected to be very secure and safe.

Pros of daycare:

  • The best thing about a daycare is that your child is supervised by people who are trained and accustomed to children of all age groups.
  • The environment is comfortable and stimulating, your child might get age-appropriate developmental toys that they may not access to at home.
  • Some daycares also have a cameras installed; you can watch what your child is doing on your computer or your smartphones.
  • A daycare has many resources; if one person falls sick, there is aways someone available to take care of your child.
  • One thing I personally like the most about daycares is that your child gets to socialize with other children of his/her age. Sometimes, children brought up at daycares are more independent and confident than their peers.’

Cons of daycare:

  • Most daycares in our country are not registered and they are not regulated by government. It’s very hard to find out the quality of care a daycare will offer.
  • They have fixed opening and closing times. If you are working an early morning or night shift, daycares are not the option for you.
  • The chances of your child catching an infection is much more, your child might fall sick frequently.
  • If your child is very sick, you will need to take a leave from work or get a backup plan.
  • Another very crucial point that seems a pro is multiple caregivers. At younger age, between 3 months to 3 years, children need a single caregiver. Most one on one attention that they can get. Since caregivers change often due to lucrative options, this might be a hindrance.

Home daycare or Home Crèche

If you live in a multi-storied building in a big city, you might find one of these in the building itself. Otherwise, finding one close by shouldn’t be tough. The crèches at home are typically run by a lady in the neighborhood or a group of them.

Pros of home daycare:

  • Very warm and homely feel and are less expensive than professional daycares.
  • Located close by and generally have flexible pick up and drop timings.
  • Have fewer holidays than most other daycare centers.
  • Caregivers are usually experienced as they are mom themselves.

Cons of home daycare:

  • The caregivers have experience, but they haven’t received special training in early childhood education. Experience is no substitute for formal training.
  • Less or no backup caregiver is available when the prime caregiver gets sick.
  • The safety and sanitation standards might not be up to the mark. Make sure you check the premises properly before making the decision of sending your kid there.

Full Time Maid

This option is not my personal favorite, but I know a lot of moms for whom maids have worked out so well. It generally involves hiring a full time maid from a maid agency.

Pros of having a full time maid:

  • Without any doubt, home is the safest and the most comforting place for your child to be. Leaving the child at home with a trusted and friendly person can make goodbyes easy for you and your child.
  • Your child is the center of attention.
  • Less chances of your child catching an infection as he is not meeting other children.
  • Your household help will be more flexible to your work hours.
  • When your child is sick, you won’t have to take any leaves as the maid will care for her.

Cons of having a full time maid:

  • First thing, it is very difficult to find a maid who is good and trustworthy. Finding the right one for your child can be very taxing.
  • The household help are not half as qualified as you, and their ways or childcare philosophy might be very different from yours. You will need to train and teach them and set some rules for discipline, hygiene, etc.
  • There’s no one to monitor their behavior towards your child. It’s important that you or someone you know keeps a check on them by visiting your house unexpectedly. A surveillance camera is also a good option.
  • If the maid falls sick, then you will also have to take leaves. You will always need a backup plan incase you need to go to work.
  • If you have a maid who stays with you, there goes your privacy.

Sometimes I feel I am lucky to be in India where so many childcare options and joint families still exist to look after our precious little ones. Based on my experience, these were the options that are best suited for working moms with no support at home.

I hope the above pointers will help you find the best possible childcare option for you and your child. If you found this post helpful, please comment and let us know.


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