More than a Nanny or Daycare Center
What you should know when you choose childcare.
All children have five childcare needs that are vital to their health and happiness. Leading researchers Dr. Brazleton and Dr. Greenspan define these needs as:
Why choose a TeacherCaregiver?
Choosing a TeacherCaregiver can help you ensure that your child's needs are met.
Nannies and Nanny Agencies
A nanny is typically between the ages of 18 and 55 and works (and possibly lives) in your home to provide childcare and perhaps light housekeeping for 40 to 65 hours per week. Nannies generally provide daily care and child-related chores and errands. Nannies are not expected to provide educational opportunities for children. Most nannies hold high school degrees, however, education, skills, experience and language abilities vary widely.
Nannies may be hired through agencies, online or through word-of-mouth. Nanny agencies typically charge fees based on the nanny's salary. Most nanny agencies check references and criminal backgrounds, and interview candidates by phone or in person. Online nanny services generally charge one-time fees to reach candidates and offer options for background checks.
Au Pairs and Au Pair Services
An au pair is a foreign national between 18 and 26 years of age who is enrolled in a cultural exchange program to learn another language and provide limited childcare services for up to 12 months. She will live in your house as part of your family and is entitled to a private bedroom. An au pair is normally expected to work between 25 to 45 hours per week and must have time off to attend language classes. Due to regulations, au pairs are typically not allowed to work over 45 hours per week or more than 10 hours per day. They cannot do any household work that is not directly related to children. Again, educational levels range, and most au pairs hold a high school degree and are not expected to provide educational activities for the children. Most au pairs are hired through international services.
A daycare center can be in a church basement, private home, stand-alone facility, or anything in between. Centers can care for your child all day, either full-time or part-time. Good centers provide both care and educational activities for your child in suitable surroundings. Daycares must be licensed and accredited, so be sure to see evidence of licensing. The staff-to-child ratio can vary, and understaffing is a problem that can lead to substandard care. High staff turnover is common in many centers and inconsistent staffing can create security or attachment issues with young children. Most parents choose daycare centers based on cost or the belief that daycare socializes their children. Research, in fact, shows that children under three do not benefit from large group settings. Common concerns with group care include frequent illnesses and aggressiveness due to lack of personal attention.
Babysitters and Family Daycare
Babysitters and family daycare are typically informal arrangements. Typical babysitter and family care arrangements are made for short-term situations.
TeacherCaregivers are generally between the ages of 21 and 50 and will work with your children in your home for 35 to 55 hours per week. Your TeacherCaregiver will handle the daily care of your child, and provide daily activities such as arts and crafts, storytelling, vocabulary development, music and dance, field trips and other activities and interactions that foster social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. TeacherCaregivers individualize routines and activities to meet the interests and needs of the child and family. They are educated and experienced in childcare and many hold advanced degrees. TeacherCaregivers typically stay with families for over three years. Your child is able to learn and grow in the best possible environment: your home, with all the advantages of socialization and outside experiences that individualized care provides.
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