No doubt that Family Childcare Providers who have taken the step to become State Licensed have decided that they are committed to delivering high quality childcare to the families in their community. They have opened the doors of their own homes and are screaming loud and clear "I am your village, come on in!".
If you're on the fence about what type of licensed provider to choose for your family, here are a few special things about Licensed Family Childcare Providers that should be mentioned before making your final decision.
If you have researched childcare options lately there is one obvious difference between a family childcare home and a childcare center, and that is the costs. Family Childcare Providers usually charge less than childcare centers and preschools. Having lower tuition rates, and still being able to provide high quality childcare to the families in their community makes this childcare option one to strongly consider.
More Individual Attention
Group settings are small in a family childcare home allowing the provider and the child more one-on- one time together. In Michigan licensed group family daycare homes have a capacity of no more than 12 unrelated children at one time, with 6 children to 1 adult ratio (depending on ages). Because of this the Family Childcare Educator is in daily communications with the parents, fostering a great support system for the family.
There are fewer children in a family childcare home setting, which reduces the chances of your child becoming sick. The Family Childcare Provider is most likely able to catch that one child who forgot to wash their hands after the bathroom than if that child was in a larger group setting. Hand washing is our best defense against spreading germs! Also, hygiene lessons are able to be given in teachable moments specifically for the individual child.
Mixed Age Groups
Family childcare homes offer an environment where siblings can all be together. This helps parents to be able to take all of their children to one childcare facility. Also, mixed aged groupings make it possible for each child to learn from each other instilling confidence, leadership, and social skills.
Family Childcare Homes are usually open earlier and stay open later than childcare centers are. Helping parents who work non traditional hours, and college students (who are parents too), still have childcare that is accessible.
Bonus: Most family group childcare homes are opened on snow days which gives parents a peace of mind that they do not have to find a backup childcare plan for these days. Be sure to ask your future family childcare provider about their snow day policy, before a snow day occurs
Another wonderful thing about family childcare providers is that they are unique in the programs that they offer. Family providers know not all families are alike and try to niche their services to the families in their nearby community. Some family childcare providers even offer a preschool program, and a drop- in program. I highly suggest you take some time and talk to a family childcare provider about their daily life at their childcare program. I bet you will be surprised at all the offerings that your children receive, or will receive that they are not even marketing about their program.
If there is a unicorn in childcare, The Family Childcare Provider is definitely the unicorn in the childcare provider tribe by providing their families with one on one attention, small group settings that children need to develop their social skills, and by offering affordable, accessible and flexible childcare, all this definitely makes the Family Childcare Provider stand out as a strong childcare choice.