There are a variety of scenarios in which you may be thinking about the best child care options for your family. Maybe you’ve recently had a baby and are considering how to return to your job once your parental leave time is up. Or, maybe your child was attending a preschool or child care program previously, but with Covid-19 concerns you’re no longer as comfortable with a large group setting. Or, perhaps your child was just getting ready to start a child care program, but Covid interrupted your plans and now you need to reassess your options.
In any of these scenarios (and about a million others!), in-home care, often referred to as family child care, may be a good solution for your child’s care.
Why Family Child Care (FCC)?
Small group sizes and low ratios
- More opportunities for 1:1 interaction with each child
- Individualized care
- Strong child/caregiver relationships
- Strong social emotional development, which is a leading indicator of school readiness and predictor of future social & academic success, is an outcome of all of the above
Mixed age groups
- Opportunities for children to interact and get along with children of varying ages – again, increased social emotional skills
- Leadership opportunities for older children
- Younger children get the opportunity to learn from older children
- Siblings of different ages can be in the same classroom
Continuity of care
- A strongly recommended best practice, wherein a provider works with a child for an extended period of time
- Allows for deep relationships to form
- Facilitates deep attachments
- Care and understanding of/for an individual child also deepens
Greater variety for families
- Learning philosophy
- Daily schedule/routine
- Ages served
- Tuition and pricing
More culturally relevant for many families
Many families, particularly those with very young children, prefer for their children to be cared for in an intimate, more family-oriented setting. Family child care allows them to select this as a care option while still enrolling in a program that is licensed and regulated
Smaller environment = potentially less exposure to illness
Precautionary health measures need to be followed in order to ensure everyone’s safety, but there is something to be said for a smaller environment, with fewer families and teachers, that may make you feel more comfortable as a parent during these very unpredictable times.