Family Day Care

Family Child Care Services

Family Day Care is something that has been around for as long as women have had friends and neighbors to help them with caring for their children.  Women have been trading off child minding services with their friends and family members for more years than we can count.  Family day care is exactly what it sounds like, child care that happens in a family home rather than a large child minding facility.  In many cases family day care is owned and managed by a loving mother or father who also has his or her own children at home or in school as well.  More often than not family day care is a means for a stay-at-home parent to contribute to the family income while still staying home and caring for his or her own children as well.

Although family day care services are operated from a family home most states have strict regulations in place that dictate how many children can be registered in a particular home as well as the training and education required for a family day care provider.  In each state the rules and regulations will vary but there are limits to how many children per adult are allowed as well as requirements for first aid and emergency response training.  Buildings must be equipped with a certain level of safety supplies as well.  As for safety supplies in most cases you must have fire extinguishers, first aid kits, working telephones, availability of heating, as well as hydro among other things.

When investigating a family day care you should follow all of the same steps as any other day care you would be looking into.  You should visit the home twice at least, once by yourself and once with your child.  If the child care provider is even a little bit uncomfortable with you visiting that should send your red flags up.  Be sure to visit at a time when the family day care should be full of children.  This will allow you to see how the provider works under pressure as well as how many children and employees are typically in the building at one time.  Be sure to ask about all of the important facts such as late fees for in case you are late picking up your child one day, and meal costs and availability.  Some day cares will insist that you pack a meal for your child while other family day cares will provide a noon meal or evening meal depending on your schedule.

One option that you might have with a family day care that you might not have with a large facility is the fact that from time to time you might be able to get overnight or evening service from a family day care in addition to your week days schedule.

Family day care is typically less expensive than large facility day care centers however you usually have a little less recourse or control over what is going on at the day care.  Things can change in your schedule on a dime, so you can understand how that might also happen for the operator of a family day care.
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