December 7, 2018

Childcare Provider vs. Babysitter: Which is the Best For Your Child?

According to a study from the Utah Women & Leadership Project, “52% of children under six have all available parents in the workforce.”

Knowing that over half of children six and under have working parents, it’s easy to see why many children are in need of some type of organized childcare. That means that finding the right caretaker is high on the to-do lists of Utah parents. You want to provide your child with the best care you possibly can.

How do you choose the right fit for your child? Family members are often a good choice, but they aren’t always available. A babysitter seems like an easy and cost-effective route, but at My Childcare Academy, we know the advantages that come with choosing a licensed, professional childcare facility.

Define: Childcare Provider

A childcare provider can be referred to as a facility full of trained, trustworthy, and knowledgeable people who have a passion for taking care of others. They love kids, like to function as a caretaker, and have a knack for being organized and accountable. In short, they are providers of care. They don’t simply watch over your child. They create stable, healthy adult-child relationships, promote continual learning, and foster good habits that make school (pre-k and beyond) easier to transition into. They have your child’s best interests in mind.

There are so many positives to investing in your child’s care by placing them in a daycare like the one we offer at My Childcare Academy. Here are a few examples of what we provide each day:

  • A well-planned, structured, and purposeful daily routine that promotes a sense of security and predictability.
  • A staff of background checked, trained, compassionate, and experienced caretakers that are CPR, first aid, and AED certified.
  • An easy way to check in. Many care centers, like us, offer the ability to check in on your child’s activities throughout the day by an app you can install on your smartphone. See when they last ate, napped, and even get picture updates.
  • A facility that is safe, secure, and built with your child’s experience in mind.
  • A variety of activities that are curated and used in the classroom to help promote learning in several ways, from physical exercise to artistic expression.
  • No more scrambling. If just one sitter is in charge of your child, it can be a scramble for parents when the sitter has an emergency. At a daycare, there are multiple caretakers available for your child.
  • A deliberate and empathetic way of delivering behavioral redirection.

Here are a few additional things to know about us:

  • We close at six each weekday. We stick to our opening and closing times to hold parents accountable to a schedule that is familiar and balanced for their children. We also know how important it is for parents to cherish the time they have with their kids in the evenings and weekends.
  • We do cost more than the neighborhood teenager. That’s on purpose. Your child’s care is an investment, and who better to invest in? It allows us to hire better teachers and caretakers and allows us to uphold a standard of quality within our care center that you can’t find with your hourly sitter. It also increases our retention rate.

What Does a Daycare Provide That a Babysitter Can’t?

You want your child to be somewhere that provides a thriving learning environment, a safe and secure space, and place where they enjoy their stay and feel cared for. There’s more to taking care of kids than overseeing them. We strongly believe that childcare is not an expense to a household. It’s an investment.

Your child’s care is an investment in their future.

With that in mind, we encourage you to become an informed parent. Don’t underestimate the importance of licensing and regulation. A babysitter is not held to the laws that a licensed daycare is required to adhere to. You’ll want to be aware of everything in place that keeps children safe when it comes to being enrolled at a professional daycare.

Background Checks

In Utah it is required that anyone working at or involved in a childcare facility be screened with a background check, fingerprinted, and ran through the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) database. The people working with your children should be proven to be safe.

Facility/Location Approval

The safety of the building, outdoor area, and even the safety protocol in the event of a natural disaster are all things that must be clearly laid out and passed off in order to receive an approval to become a licensed daycare. You’ll want to know what the plan is if there’s a fire, you should know when lunch/snack times occur, and you’ll definitely want to be aware of what the policy is if there is an accident at the daycare. Many at-home sitters are completely unaware that these standards are set in place.

Staff Training

Care providers in Utah must complete training. There are many careers in the world that require a level of training in order to be considered a professional, and childcare is no exception. You’ll want anyone interacting with your child to be trained in a variety of skills in order to properly care for them. By law it is required that providers do 20 hours of training each year to better themselves to learn leading edge to help children grow and develop.

We value training experience in our facility. We have an incredibly low turnover rate for our childcare professionals. We know and trust the people in our building, and we have for years. Our staff brings with them years of experience with children one on one and in large groups. In addition to that, we hire caretakers who love what they do. They have chosen to make a profession out of working with kids. They have a passion for their job because they know the difference they can make in the lives of the kids they care for.

Health, Safety, and Food Handling Permits

Food allergies are a real thing, and for some children they can be deadly. It’s important that your child’s care provider be well aware of allergies, food handling, and proper preparation and separation of foods. It’s likely that you average, at-home sitter won’t know much about food allergies or what to do if an allergic reaction takes place. A licensed care facility is required to be prepared in the event of an accident regarding food safety.

At our care facility, we go above and beyond. In addition to the background checks, our providers also complete CPR, first aid, and AED certifications. Your average neighborhood sitter isn’t likely to go through all of these steps when offering to watch your child during the workday.

Care Facilities Provider Professionalism

The bottom line is this: childcare centers are places of professionalism. They are legally required to meet a certain level of certifications and expectations, and that’s because they should be.

At My Childcare Academy, we require our providers to operate at a high-quality and consistent level of service. This is a standard that we encourage all of our parents to hold us to.

Define: Babysitter

When we think of babysitter, we think of someone who was hired at an hourly rate to oversee children while they carry out their day-to-day activities. Here are a few advantages to babysitters:

  • They can come to your home.
  • You can pay them hourly.
  • They can be used for short periods of time, ranging from a half hour to a few hours.
  • They can provide services later in the evening.

However, there are quite a few disadvantages, too, and you’ll want to be highly aware of how they can impact your child and their development.

  • Babysitters may not may not be trained in child safety protocols like CPR.
  • They come to your home, which may mean you are responsible for their safety on your property.
  • Your child will have the chance to only interact with one person or their siblings. This doesn’t allow for continuous development of social skills.
  • There is no structure. Children do well with an easily followed and regular routine and planned activities. Not all babysitters are equipped with the ability to plan and follow an outlined regimen.
  • Babysitters function independently. Not all babysitters come with the same qualifications, and you’ll have to do a lot of in-depth research to find the right sitter.

We know that many parents choose babysitters as their method of childcare and have a successful experience. You should always do what is right for you, your child, and your family.

Invest in Your Child, Choose a Daycare

Take advantage of all that a licensed childcare center has to offer. Contact us to get more information about enrolling your child (or children!) in daycare at My Childcare Academy.

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