For many busy people with children, it can be daunting to try and figure out the right daycare option for your child. Should you ask a trusted friend or family member to look after them, or should you enroll them in a childcare center?
If you are working, attending school, or looking for a job, you may be eligible for free or low-cost child care through IILA.
There are various options for you to choose from, but it can be confusing to determine which one would work well for your child, fit your schedule, and meet your expectations. Keep reading to find out which option is best suited for your child.
Family, Friend, or Neighbor Care
This is an informal type of caregiving, where someone chooses to look after a child based on a mutual understanding between the caregivers and the parents. Asking a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor to care for your child when you’re away can prove very beneficial to working parents.
Friends, family, and neighbors are usually exempt from meeting childcare licensing requirements and regulations unless they care for children who receive financial assistance from the government.
Many families opt for this type of child care as it is relatively inexpensive and flexible compared to family child care homes or professional care centers. It’s also easier for some parents to trust their family and peers to take good care of their children.
Family Child Care Homes
A family child care home is when providers care for small groups of children in a residential building, usually a house, apartment, or condo unit. Depending on state regulations, a residential building may or may not be the same home that the provider lives in. Most states also limit the number of children in one family child care home.
Family child care providers need to be licensed and follow basic health and safety regulations. Be sure to ask to see your provider’s program license, inspection history, and other relevant certifications. Also, ask extensive questions about their programs and activities and see if your child is interested in them.
A family child care home can work well for your child if you want them to explore and grow in a small and safe environment that won’t be too overwhelming for them.
Child Care Centers
A child care center cares for a larger group of children, typically divided by age group, and is located in a commercial space. Every child care center has many staff members trained to educate and care for your children.
At a child care center, your child receives holistic education from the earliest stages of their life. The educational curriculum is based on the child’s age, with modules and activities to support their overall growth and development. At a professional care center, your child will have many opportunities for social interaction, which is vital to developing fundamental social and life skills.
While child care centers provide a classroom-like environment that helps prepare your children for their school years, they often have hours that can be harder for some parents to work with.
If you’re looking for accessible and affordable child care services in Los Angeles, get in touch with us. The International Institute of Los Angeles offers extensive child care resources for parents and guardians. You can apply for child care assistance here! For more information, call us at 323-224-3800 or contact us online.