Understanding Child Care

Understanding Child Care

Your Four Main Child Care Options

Victoria Jimenez

When it is time for you to go back to work after having a child, you have to make plans for child care. Most people assume that this means dropping their child off at a daycare center where they will spend most of the day. But really, this is only one child care option. There are actually four types of child care that are relatively common and widely available in the United States.

In-Home Daycare or Babysitting

One option is to drop your child off at another person's private home. This may be the home of a friend or acquaintance who you pay to babysit your child during the day. It may also be a more formal in-home daycare program that is licensed by your state and provides care for several children. In-home daycare is a great choice for very young children and babies as the caregiver will have plenty of time to spend with each child. It's also a comfortable home environment, and you can communicate directly with the caregiver throughout the day.

Traditional Daycare

Another option is a traditional daycare center, which usually has several individual rooms for kids of different ages. There are caregivers and sometimes also caregiver aids for each age group. A larger daycare like this is a more formal option and a more structured environment. This works well for kids who thrive with structure and routine.

Nanny Services

Another option is to have a nanny come into your home and care for your children while you're away. Usually, being a nanny is a full-time position, and as such, you will be expected to pay your nanny a full-time salary. This is one of the more expensive child care options but also one of the most flexible since you can ask the nanny to adhere to your own unique hours and standards of care. 


When your child reaches the age of 2, you'll have the option of sending them to a preschool rather than to daycare. Preschool is similar to a traditional daycare, but instead of just letting the kids play all day, the caregivers teach them skills and knowledge in a somewhat structured way. There will still be lots of playing, but there will also be hands-on lessons about the alphabet, colors, and other age-appropriate topics. This is a good way to prepare your child for school while also ensuring they're cared for while you work.

You have several diverse options for child care. Time will tell which works best for your child.

To learn more, contact a child care center.


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About Me
Understanding Child Care

I have always been the kind of mom who wants to stay home with her kids, but after we purchased a home, I realized that was not going to happen. We simply couldn't afford for me to stay home full time, and I knew that I needed to find a different way to support our family. I was able to find a great job doing what I loved, and it was incredible to get out in public and start working with adults again. To care for my kids, I started looking into child care. It was a little bit of a learning curve understanding the process, so I made this blog totally dedicated to child care.