If you are a parent or a parent-to-be, you know all about the dread of deciding whether or not you will be a stay-at-home mom or send your child to child care facility.
Cue the dramatic theme music here.
Remembering back to when I had only a month-and-a-half left before my maternity leave was up, I remember being petrified at the thought of my fiance and I interviewing child care centers.
In my situation, we didn’t have the choice of staying home with our daughter. As much as I would have loved to, especially during the first year, we just couldn’t. Financially, it’s definitely draining to send our daughter to daycare at a whopping $700 a month (which is on the inexpensive side).
While on our search, we looked for four key components: safety, affordability, teaching strategies, and comfort level between us and the provider. Here’s what we found:
The Pros of Staying Home:
- You get to spend time getting to know your child and their personality. When you work, you miss a lot of things that you regret. E.g. first steps, first words etc.
- You get to save that much needed money. You will have the next 18+ years to spend money on your child from clothing to college saving funds. Why not save where you can?
The Cons of Staying Home:
- No flexibility in your schedule. It may be harder to run errands and have free time.
- Limited ability to socialize with others. It may be harder to set up play dates with others.
The Pros of Child Care:
- Your child gets to interact with others. Interaction is key to a child’s development.
- Your child gets a set curriculum for their age. Many child care facilities have a set lesson plan for each age group.
The Cons of Child Care:
- Germs from other children. This is a big one because it can cause you to need to take off from work to tend to your child.
- Closings and Delays. Your life is based around when the child care facility is open, and it may not align with your work schedule.
Though it is a hard decision to make it is important to make the right one for yourself and your child. Choose wisely and think hard!