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Home-Based Child Care is Growing. Here’s Why

Determining what the best form of child care for your little one is can feel slightly overwhelming. There is a surplus of options out there, and depending on things such as affordability, curriculum, location, and accessibility, it can seem difficult to find an option that meets all of your needs. While you want an option that provides you with everything that can help your child grow, it’s also nice to know that you’re leaving them in the care of somebody that prioritizes their safety and creates a fun atmosphere for them.


In 2012, a national survey showed that 29.5% of families rely on home-based child care compared to the 11.9% that utilize child care centers, and 20.8% that use other options. This number has been on the rise for many reasons in the last 10 years, and understanding the difference between home child care vs other child care options can easily show why this option is becoming more and more popular.

What is Home Based Child Care?

Home-based child care, otherwise known as family or at home daycare, is when you pay somebody to take care of your child from within their home. They may or may not be watching over other children, and primarily provide a more home-like setting for your child rather than an institutional setting. In-home child care is popular for many reasons, but many parents rely on it because it’s often easier to find a local caregiver close to home and their hours can sometimes be more flexible.

Typical home-based caregivers watch around 6 or less children on a given day and may vary depending on local and state regulations as well as what that caregiver decides personally. Depending on who you choose for home-based child care, there may be more freedom in the curriculum they offer. This can be beneficial for young children as it allows them to develop at their own pace and can help make them more comfortable when it comes to learning.

Compared to using a popular daycare or child care centers, home-based child care provides you with the convenience of knowing your child is being attended to at all times. Come cold and flu season, you can also enjoy the fact that with fewer children and caregivers around your little one, fewer germs are being spread around.

Benefits & What to Expect

Advantages come in various forms when it comes to home-based child care. They range from having a little more access to making sure your child is prioritized when compared to large centers, to things like better tuition and weekly rates.

A few of the many benefits you can look forward to with home-based child care are as follows.

  • Due to home-based child care maintaining and managing smaller groups, you can enjoy more individualized child care. This will reflect in child to caregiver relationships, often helping create stronger bonds and improving your child’s social and emotional development.
  • Home-based child care allows for better routines to form, based on the fact that there are fewer children to cater to and nurture. This can be beneficial when it comes to developing how your child interacts with others and will help them prepare for their future education by getting them used to a schedule.
  • You can optimize the development of motor skills through this form of child care. With closer attention to individual children, the caretaker will often have more 1:1 time and assist in improving all of their skill sets so that they’re prepared for school later down the road.
  • By honing their motor skills, they can begin to learn things like playing well with others or picking up on sports and other physical activities they might enjoy.
  • Since in-home caregivers often care for a limited number of children, you’ll find more diversity in ages. This means that your child may be younger or older than the other children being cared for. If you have multiple children, this could also mean that they’ll be able to stick with their siblings while being watched and they may find more comfort in having that familiarity around them.

As your child adjusts to home-based child care, you can and should expect them to build close relationships with the caregivers and those that they’re around frequently. The initial time away from you might seem scary, but you’ll find that they’ll begin to gain a sense of independence over time. While some caregivers have gone through specific training to meet local or state required mandates when it comes to running a home daycare, many are not trained. It can be helpful to vet your provider prior to enrolling your child in a home-based program.

Studies show that fewer than one in every three children have a stay at home parent in the present day. Since most parents work a job outside of the home, this means finding child care that meets your standards and needs is a priority. From a surplus of benefits to convenience, safety to affordability, there’s a family child care service just for you.

Find the Right In-Home Child Care Today

If you’re trying to decide whether in-home child care is the right option for you, review our child care provider resources at Wonderschool. We cover everything from learning and curriculum, licensing, and legislation, to the best practices that maintain safety while we experience things such as COVID-19.

Our goal is to work with local caregivers to ensure they have all of the resources they need when it comes to child care and connect parents in need of local child care services with the best of the best. We review the sources and styles of these caregivers to ensure that they meet high standards and follow local regulations. Then we take your needs and help you pick which child care service is right for your family. Find a Wonderschool service today to get your little one enrolled in a place where they’ll be nurtured and can safely grow.