Finding The Best Child Care for Your Family
An In-Depth Look at the Options
Sometimes, family day care won't work for a child. That's where TeacherCare can help. With offices in Chicago, New York and Crystal City, VA, TeacherCare sends experienced, certified teachers with bachelor's and master's degrees to clients' homes to work with kids daily while also cooking and seeing to their needs. The organization checks the backgrounds and employment references of all its teachers. The program is open to all children from infancy to school age and also works with children with disabilities or those who are gifted. The family pays the teacher's salary.
"A teacher can look at the day's happenings and expand on them to teach various concepts," Terri Brax, the owner, says. "Making lunch together one day can turn into a lesson in fractions, weighing and measuring. Leaves and flowers gathered on a nature walk can turn into a collage one day for one child, a science project for another or a trip to the public library to read more about a particular tree or flower. Some parents might like the kids to have more music and dance exposure. It is a creative care option, and it depends on the family's needs and goals."
Why might a teacher choose to do this? "All our teachers, who range in age from 21 to 55, have had experience in day care centers, preschools and elementary school classrooms," Brax says. "They are excited about working one-on-one with a child to make a difference."
Betsy Hudis of Fairfax recommends TeacherCare to everyone. Her son, Aaron, 4, was diagnosed with sensory integration disorder and needs constant care, patience and supervision. She and her husband found it impossible to care for their newborn and for Aaron. She explained the family's specific needs to TeacherCare and was matched with Angela, a recent graduate in an occupational therapy and rehabilitation program. The whole family clicked.
"Aaron took to her right away," Hudis says. Angela helps him with his listening therapy, fine motor skills and coordination and the home gym. She accompanies the family on medical appointments, takes Aaron to the park, the library and other places in the neighborhood. She facilitated his participation in playgroups with other kids—something he's not successful at on his own yet. "Angela makes a real difference to our family," Hudis says. And she noticed positive changes in Aaron. "He can put on shoes and socks independently, hold silverware much better, and she's even persuaded him to try different foods." The two women get along well and sometimes take turns with the kids...