Do you love children and think a career in childcare could be a natural fit? Well, before you jump into your new career, consider your options. Just like parents choose a childcare setting that’s right for their children, you’ll need to decide what work setting works best for you: a daycare center or a private home. To help you make the decision, it’s important to understand the two main childcare settings and the benefits and challenges of each.
Overview of Childcare Settings
A Daycare Center is a commercial business that provides childcare services for a large number of children. A center typically operates out of its own building, and has classrooms, bathrooms, and an outdoor play space.
Private Home Childcare
Private home childcare centers are run out of someone’s residence. The daycare may include the whole house or just a dedicated area within the home.
Daycare Center Benefits and Challenges
Daycare Center Benefits:
- Structure: A daycare center functions a lot like a school, so you and your young learners would follow a structured schedule.
- Resources: You would likely have access to more resources such as supplies and enrichment activities like dance and music.
- Curriculum-Based Learning: Centers typically follow a curriculum that promotes literacy, speech and language skills, and social development.
- Focus on a Single Age Group: Because there are so many children, care is divided into age groups. That means you would probably work with students in a single developmental stage. You may even get to choose the one you enjoy the most.
- Staff Support: A larger staff means more opportunities for socializing and creating bonds with coworkers.
Daycare Center Challenges:
- Staff Turnover: Centers often have higher turnover rates than home daycares. That means you’ll need to adjust to new coworkers.
- Exposure to Germs: More children means more germs and the possibility of exposure to sickness.
Private Home Benefits and Challenges
Private Home Benefits:
- Environment: Home-based daycares are less formal than corporate-run childcare centers. That means you can enjoy some of the comforts of home like not having to share a bathroom with a lot of people and more comfortable furniture.
- Bonding: Because many children will stay with the same provider from the infant stage through when they attend school, you will develop close relationships after caring for them for many years.
- Flexibility: While centers have structured leave and sick days, a home provider may be more flexible.
Private Home Challenges:
- Curriculum: Home daycares typically do not have the standardized curriculum you can expect from a center. If you enjoy teaching and want to measure the success of children in your care, a center might be a more ideal working environment.
- Structure: Home daycares are usually less structured than centers. Because of the wide age range of the children in your care, it may be difficult to have structured activities that are appropriate for all ages.Less Resources: Home daycares tend to have less resources than centers due to space constraints and a lower operating budget.
Whether a center or a home daycare is the right environment for you, the Child Care Assistant Program at Career Quest Learning Centers will help you learn about the field. Currently available at our Jackson campus, our Child Care Assistant Program will teach you the skills you need to become a child care assistant. Fill out the form to schedule a campus tour now.