Daycare has come a long way from babysitting jobs of the 60s and 70s that paid around fifty cents an hour. Local teenagers and the older children of friends were good babysitters back then. All they had to do was serve the kids an easy dinner, clean up afterward, and play with them for a while before putting them to bed. Most of the session was held on Friday or Saturday nights, allowing parents to enjoy a night out.

Today, nursery means much more.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 65 percent of women with children six and under work outside the home. For single-parent households and in families where both husband and wife work full time, access to quality daycare is essential. If relatives or grandparents are not available or unable to intervene, continuous daycare is sometimes the only option.

There are several options available today. Many corporate employers have started adding on-site day care, in-home caregivers are available, and there are full or part-time day care centers in almost every area. Some centers focus on younger children, from birth until they begin to walk, while others welcome children of any age. Some facilities offer “walk-in” child care, an option for high-quality, affordable short-term care.

Schools, gyms, organizations, and churches now offer events like Parent Nights Out. Some communities organize child care cooperatives. Nannies are also an alternative, however a more expensive one, as it generally means full-time home care by a person who may or may not reside with you. Nannies can be male or female; however, “mannys” are becoming increasingly popular.

As children grow, their day care needs change: a babysitter for the newborn, direct care for the toddler, an on-site educational daycare for preschool-age children, and after-school activities for more than five people . Summer needs may vary from those of the school year and parents can change programs or have children attend camp to take a break from the regular routine.

Many day centers are evolving into highly structured learning centers offering a wide range of activities. Simple arts and crafts projects are still available, but the addition of early learning programs has become popular as research shows that children respond to academics at an earlier age. Today’s parents want their young children to begin developing skills that weren’t taught before until much later.

In some centers, additional extracurricular activities such as gymnastics, ballet and martial arts are offered for an additional fee. Instructors come to the center weekly to provide on-site instruction. This works well for those parents who are short on time and cannot fit weekly lessons into their already busy schedules.

While printed brochures or newsletters have worked well in the past, many centers manage to keep parents updated on activities and events on websites that even include weekly menus. Emailing requests for updates on your child’s behavior is easy and improves the likelihood of a quick response.

Learn about the options available to you in your city. Check them out and ask lots of questions. Good communication between the provider and parents is critical to the success of their children’s daycare. Take the time to know that your children are safe and happy, and everyone will have a better day.

By admin

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