Poll: Daycare Center or In-home Daycare — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Poll: Daycare Center or In-home Daycare


So are you using/planning to use a Daycare Center or an In-home Daycare?


Just wondering...I am in a research phase and can't decide on which one to go for...but I know I need to make a decision soon!


Re: Poll: Daycare Center or In-home Daycare

  • Daycare center.  I wanted the checks and balances that go with a center.  I visited a couple of in home daycares and based on the number of children and ages, I was pretty convinced that my DD would be in her PNP all day.  Now that she is older, I love the center.  They have summer activities and a "curriculum" for the learning activities each month.  On Friday, we just had a Family Summer Bash with food, moonbounce, and water activities.  She also has music class once a week.  Essentially you just need to be happy with the care.  I just had a feeling and knew what would work for us.   
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  • We went with a center. ?I just didn't trust home daycares unless I personally knew the caregiver or got a personal recommendation from a close friend. ?I liked that there were always backups in case one of the teachers were sick and I liked the variety of activities the center offered.
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  • Center.  We had the same reasons that the PP's did.  It was also a flexibility issue for us.  All of the in-home daycare providers around here wanted to you to pick up by 5:30.  That was just not doable for us.  Plus, the issue of sick time/vacation time was a problem for us too.  You never have to worry about that with a center.

    Having said that, I wouldn't have absolutely ruled out an in-home daycare had we found the right one with the right people.  Plus, there were definitely centers that we would never have considered.  We have a center with a very "homey" feel.  Plus, they only take six babies (in their own room, away from the "big" kids), so we knew DD would get plenty of attention. 

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  • We did not get into any of the 3 centers we were on the list for. We found a GREAT in-home provider and could not be happier.
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  • DD is at an in-home center and has been since she was 6mo old.  Honestly, I wanted her at an in-home center in the beginning because I hated the idea of her being in a room with a bunch of other infants.  I fully intended on moving her once she was a year or so.  But I love where she is SO much that I'm not moving her anywhere!

    If the in-home center is licensed then they have certain standards that they must comply with.  That keeps the numbers down and ensures that the curriculum is up to par.  That being said, DD is thriving where she is.  Her DCP is hispanic and so DD knows both English and Spanish.  Plus I can totally see how much the DCP loves the kids.  It a home and the DCP's DH is often there.  He loves the kids too!

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  • bbin09bbin09 member
    We are doing an in home until we get into a center (2yr waiting list!). The in-home is across the street from our house and is highly recommended in our neighborhood.
  • ours is the perfect hybrid! it's a daycare center in a home. the first level of the home is dedicated entirely to the daycare operation. there are two providers (and one main substitute), who are an older woman and her DIL.

    the place was rec'd by several people, including a parent whom i had known for several years.

    after making a list of the features we wanted in childcare, we decided that an in-home center was what we wanted, so we set out looking for in-home providers who had dedicated space for a daycare (as opposed to an in-home provider who just kept a few kids for income). we found a huge difference in the quality of care, of facilities and of qualifications, etc.


    we also made a list of things we wanted to see when i did visits:

    - happy children

    - clean facilities

    - happy providers

    we weren't so interested in seeing clean children, b/c that usually means they aren't having much fun! i was also not so disturbed by runny noses, b/c kids have runny noses. they just do. you can wipe all damn day long. they will run right after you wipe. now, crusted snot, different story!

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  • Honestly, I think you should look at both since it really depends on the quality of the facility and providers rather than the type of care. Unless your needs really revolve around the pros/cons of one of the types (like needing a center for reliable care in case a provider is sick, needing an in-home for part-time care, etc.), I would look at a number of different types of places and find the one that works best for you. Make sure it is licensed if an in-home. We had a bad experience but just for that reason.
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  • We love our in-home provider.  But, found her through a referral service - we don't pay her directly - we pay them, they pay her.  They also do unannounced checks periodically - and, provide her with some basic training.  If she's sick or on vacation, they find us a replacement.

    We couldn't be happier.  DD loves her.  She loves DD.  The other kids love DD.  She's smiling when I drop her off, and smiling when I pick her up.

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  • I agree with the person who said to research both.  I've seen really crappy in-homes and really crappy centers.  And I've seen wonderful in-homes (like the one my kids are at) and really wonderful centers.  The quality varies so widely, it's worth your time to investigate both.
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  • Will do! Thanks ladies for all your feedback!

    Have a nice day!

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