Group day care is often the least expensive and most reliable childcare option for many working
parents. If you have an infant, select a facility that provides one-on-one care. For toddlers and older
children, group day care offers an opportunity to socialize with their peers.
A few choices are available to you. In-home daycare is often run by stay-home moms looking to earn
extra income while spending time with their children. Most
will have small groups, flexible hours, and a home-like
The downside is that there is usually only one caregiver, and you may be in a bind if she becomes ill or takes a vacation.
Daycare facilities offer a structured environment,
regular hours, and reliability. Some have
educational opportunities for your children, such as preschool and
after school programs. Their downside is
larger group sizes, and strict hours that may be challenging for parents with erratic schedules.
If you don't need full-time daycare, a drop-in center may be
a better choice for you.
You can leave your baby for a few hours so you can run your errands, or have some time to yourself.
For school-age children, look into after school enrichment
programs. No matter what option you choose, there are some things to look for in any day care facility:
1. Licensing and rating information provided by North Carolina Division
of Child Development of the Department of Health and Human
Services, which monitors cleanliness and safety, but not the quality of the care.
2. Nurturing caregivers.
3. Philosophy of care compatible with your own.
4. Low adult-to-child ratio.
5. Low staff turnover.
6. Stimulating activities for a variety of age groups.
Trust your instincts, visit many
facilities, and always check references!
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