Family members are sometimes willing and able to take on the responsibility of childcare. Grandparents or other relatives may volunteer to provide full-time babysitting. The cost is generally free according to studies that show only 19% of relatives receive some form of payment. Grandparents love your child almost as much as you do and make a great option if available. However, looking after small children can be physically challenging and not everyone is up to the task. Another issue to consider is childcare priorities and safety standards that can cause conflicts in the family.
An “au pair” is a young adult from another country that lives in the same household as a family member and provides childcare services for room and board and a small allowance. Because an au pair is living with you, schedule flexibility is a major benefit. An au pair can fulfil a wide range of responsibilities such as driving the children to school and helping with homework thereby freeing your time to do other things.
A nanny is a good option for families who wish to have a professional long-term caregiver living in the home. Some nannies are highly trained while others may not be. As with an au pair, a live-in nanny offers the greatest flexibility for schedules and some may offer services like light housekeeping. Hiring a nanny is not always easy and the responsibility for vetting an applicant is the parent’s responsibility.
Family daycare, or home centre care, is a home-based set-up where a provider, and perhaps some employees, look after a small group of children in a private home. Some parents like this option because it is more natural for the child to be in a domestic setting with other small children to play with. Consistency and familiarity are the keys to this type of childcare. However, home centre care is not required to be licensed unless there are a certain number of children. Doing background checks on the provider safety record is more challenging compared to a licensed commercial daycare.
Early childhood education centres are the most favoured option for parents because they are fully staffed and must follow stringent government regulations pertaining to safety and policy. They must also provide stimulating and creative environments for children. Some daycares, like Discovery Castle, provide curriculums for intellectual and social development.
Call Discovery Castle Childcare today to make an appointment to tour either of our facilities in North Vancouver and discuss our childcare curriculum.