1. Parenting

Readers Respond: What's the Best Child Care Choice?

Responses: 17


What is the best child care choice and why? Please share your preferred child care option and why it works for your family. Is it a relative, nanny, family daycare, au pair or daycare center? Or another arrangement?


I recently became part time Local Child Care Coordinator for Cultural Care Aupair because I believe families these days are trying to cut costs wherever they can. From what I have experiences, many families that do not inquire think it is unaffordable. That is not true. I have several family members with young ones in daycare. Let me tell you, after one child in daycare, the aupair is more affordable That is, if it is not an in home daycare. I have to say, I am very impressed by the girls each family has chosen to care for their children, and if I had my own children, I would go with an aupair. Truly, the girls want to be a part of your family and from what families tell me, the children love the au pairs. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
—Guest Kim

daycare centers

Day care centers worked best for me, but of course like any other child care arrangement, it has its own pitfalls. One thing is that your child is with lots of kids which make him more prone to sickness, and oh my when your child is sick no daycare would take him. That's when the alternative that I hate - my mom - comes handy cause she will take care of my daughter when she is sick but she will spoil her letterly with all the sweets and the treats of the world, which i hate. Besides my mom is against me being a working mom old school where women should stay home with their kids so sometimes she even teaches my daughter that women should stay home, so mom always is my last desperate resort. Who said working while being a mom is easy!!!
—Guest anharattia

home care observations from an insider

Placing your child in a family home day care should be the next best thing to being home with you or your family. There are many family home day cares out there to choose from small to large, not licensed to licensed and many variations in between. Choosing the type of daycare to place your child in can be a trying task but when you have narrowed down your choice and know that family day care is where you want to go there are a few things I would like to share with you. I worked at a family home day care for a little over one year and here are some things I learned while working there, from working there and since working there. The following are ways parents can be advocate for their children. 1. Know your state laws. The state of California does not require a licensed home day care operator to have any child development education. A training session of a few hours is the only requirement besides CPR and First Aid certification. Licensing is not required to make regular home
—Guest stormy

Great Au Pair

I was stressing out when I found out that I had to go back to work, but a friend of mine told me about www.greataupair.com so I checked them out. Oh my gosh, what a life saver they have been. You can create a profile, and look at millions of profiles for babysitters and nannies in your area, and they have been prescreened, and run through a background check. I found our Nanny, Olivia, and she does everything for us...she watches the kids, cleans house, helps with homework, cooks, and even walks our dog. You all have to check them out. good luck Erin


Proper background checks & professional interviews with an agency will screen out worries of the nanny "home-alone" factor. The nanny-child can schedule play days & structure socializing time with other children or learn group manners. Allow for a "nanny sick day" so you're NOT wholly dependent on your babysitter's availability. If she gets sick or quits suddenly, you’ll be NOT be left in a lurch. A nanny agency can do all of this for you: background checks, verifying employment eligibility/ employment-related insurance and taxes/ including Social Security/ Medicare. This is not the most expensive option,while you get what you pay for: security, professional care, in-home solution and admimistrative support.

Au Pair For Our Family

Au pairs are the solution for our family. We understand that no one can guarantee a person's behavior. To minimize our risk, we use a boutique agency that does a decent job of screening, coaches us through the process, answers the phone when we have concerns or questions. We like that au pairs can have flexible schedules, are in our home, and help lower our overall child care stress. The cost is reasonable too. The kids like having au pairs because they can sleep later. Mornings are less frantic. They see our au pairs as live playmates. Families who pursue this child care option should take their time, apply early to establish relationships with au pair candidates. The program is not for everyone, but we found it to be the best solution for our family.
—Guest Kate

Child care center

For our family, child care centers work best. They offer a lot of oversight, teacher training, and plenty of play and learning opportunities for our kids. They are also never closed due to illness or weather.

Aupair- Best of all worlds

I have been a host famly for 7 years and I also work as the local coordinator for Cultural Care aupair. I feel that having an aupair as your childcare provider is the best option for many reasons. Because the aupair lives with you, you build a relationshiop with her as if it were your grouwn niece who is caring for your child. the aupir knows the child better than a daycare worker would such as what is his favorite stuffed animal or does he like cheerios or teddy grahams as a snack. The aupair lives with you so you don't have to wake the child up on a snowy or rainy morning to take him out in the cold to school where there are other germs lurking with other children especially durin g theis flu season. The flexibility is great. I always saved a few extra hours for the weekends so my husband and I could have a date night. Also, the price just seems so much more resasonable than a nanny or daycare.
—Guest Donna

Au Pair

As a family we've enjoyed many au pairs and have welcomed the flexibility and culture they bring to our family. Not all au pairs are young and inexperienced. We've always managed to get Spanish girls over 24 years with experience. Our last au pair was a qualified primary school teacher.

I loved being a Nanny!

I was a nanny when my son was one and it was wonderful! They were the same age and we went to their home every morning for our 'playdates' - playing, learning, exploring and going to the zoo, park, library, etc. The parents knew the day would be full of fun, interaction, and love as obviously a mother wouldn't want her son to see her treat another badly (not that I would) and that I would want the best for my own child. The boys had the benefit of each other and learned sharing and other important skills every day. I didn't have to go back to work, and my child didn't have to get lost in the mix at a daycare center. They got one on one attention, help with crafts, their individual needs meet, love and cuddles, their own schedules, and all with the nanny-style care that I provided. I highly recommend a nanny with her own child in tow!!!
—Guest Ashley

Professional Au Pairs work best

We had great experience with professional au pairs from Germany, they have all the pros of an Au Pair and also offer high quality childcare because they have a training or work experience caring for children. In return for cultural experience you can have a professional au pair. The key is to find great candidates.
—Guest Calimom

Accredited child care center

I don't trust myself to be a particularly good manager of such an important employee, which is why we don't have a nanny or au pair. I have chosen NAEYC-accredited child care centers where there is tons of oversight and checks and balances. Two centers in 7 years (we moved to another state) and counting--I'm happy and so are the kids.
—Guest catherine

your family

when my son was younger, my mother and father helped out.

Provider in Their Home

I was very lucky to find wonderful women to watch my children in their home. This was a less expensive option to having them come to my house. I always felt that the sitters were happier and more comfortable in their own environment and my children were exposed to the rhythm of other households.
—Guest deborah

Au Pairs are Affordable - Be Careful

Au pairs are very affordable and provide that built-in flexibility that today's modern young family needs. Because au pairs are young and often inexperienced, parents need to go slowly and take time to educate themselves. Au pair agencies show their best side, and list all the "PROS" of hosting an au pair - www.aupairclearinghouse.com, the first consumer website on the au pair industry, tells you the PROS and CONS of hosting an au pair. We also list and rate all the 12 legal au pair agenicies in the U.S.; provide a Family Forum to share and discuss au pairs, parenting, etc., and we publish news stories and articles on au pairing. We hope that you visit us before you sign a contract - particularly if you are a first time host parent - avoid costly mistakes by taking the time to read and educate yourself on the world of au pairs! Edina Stone Founder & CEO www.aupairclearinghouse.com
—Guest edina stone


have been a host mom for 4 years and so far I have been really happy.

what's the best child care choice?

someone you know and trust REALLY well, like a close friend or a family member.
—Guest mrs.busby

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