What are some daycare options for working parents?

There are pros and cons to different daycare options for working parents, and finding the right option for you depends on the specific needs of your child, and your own needs in terms of cost, location, hours and expectations. Not least are safety issues and concern for your child's well-being. The most common daycare option is the daycare center. These centers are supervised; they must be licensed and regulated, so they hold to official standards. Ideally, the staff is trained in early childhood education, and although costs vary this type of center is an affordable option for working parents. You will never have a problem with sick days, like you would if a nanny or babysitter was watching your child; this is important since reliability is a key issue when both parents work. Children also get to interact with other children in the same age group. Some downsides of daycare centers are lack of flexibility in hours, especially pick-up time, and sick children must stay at home.

Some working parents prefer finding at-home options. Good nannies should come with recommendations from previous families. This is a flexible and convenient home care option for working parents, but less reliable and there is no supervisory agency. Although the children stay in familiar surroundings, there is no structured playtime with other children. Working parents can also encounter problems if the nanny leaves suddenly or is sick. Another option is home daycare: small groups of children in the daycare operator's home. This kind of group daycare also enables interaction with other children, and it may have more flexible hours. Working parents have to be aware that there is no supervision over the daycare provider, who may not have had any formal training or licensing in early childhood education.

Some companies offer on-site daycare options. This is a convenient and dependable option that spares working parents the often difficult logistics of finding good daycare, and the concern for their child's safety.