4 Practical Reasons to Consider Family Child Care
We've previously shared some of the real benefits of licensed Family Child Care - benefits for children, for parents, and for Educators. Many parents describe finding a great Educator in their neighborhood "like striking gold!"
First and foremost, these parents are looking for an experienced Educator, the right program size, and an educational philosophy that suits their style. And of course they must really respect and trust the Educator who will raise their children during the work day!
In addition, there are some more practical reasons why parents love Family Child Care programs. Here are the four we hear most often:
Location, Location, Location: if we're being honest, getting your toddler in the car every morning isn't the ideal start to your day. And adding miles to your daily commute to drive to the childcare program on the other side of town is a total drag.
You've seen those parents - the ones walking their kids down the street - heading to the program just around the corner. Yes, that feeling is jealousy. It's real. Find the right program in your neighborhood and you join the ranks of these liberated parents! Now they do still have diapers to change. And meals to prep. And nap time to juggle. But you get the point.
Flexible Schedules: have you heard the stories of the for-profit centers that charge parents $5 per minute for late pickup? Programs are run by Educators, not corporations, and Educators are people too. Now that's no excuse to pick up your child late every night - parents need to respect the Educator's schedule. But because it all comes back to the relationship between parents and Educators, and because the Educator is directly in charge of their program, they can coordinate directly with parents to provide some flexible coverage from time to time.
Neighbors: When you partner with an Educator in your neighborhood, you not only win the lottery in terms of convenience and commute time, but you quickly get to know other parents in your neighborhood. You'll see them at the park, at the grocery, on the street, and maybe eventually in the backyard for the summer bbq or those Friday night pizza dinner. As young parents your social schedules are going to take a hit - getting to know parents in the neighborhood is a great way to make new friends and share the experience of raising your children.
Cost: we know, you're not going bargain hunting for childcare. We get it. Every parent wants whats best for their children, and yet not every parent wants to shell out $30,000+ per year for childcare (per kid!). For most parents, the fact that Family Child Care costs less than center-based programs is an added benefit, but hey, it's still money in your pocket that you can spend on, you know, that brunch that you just really want to go to this Sunday.
To be clear, Family Child Care is about relationships, not about convenience nor price. But parenting is hard, and centers are expensive, and the fact that the best model for childcare happens to be just around the corner and more affordable doesn't hurt either.