Indiana Childcare Options: What Exactly Are You Looking For?
With an ever-increasing number of families dependent on both parents to bring in income, the need for quality childcare continues to be in high demand. With so many options and providers to sift through, how can you know if you’re making the right decision for your family? Let this short list of options help you decide which path is right for you.
What is a preschool, what is a daycare, and how do they differ?
Both preschool and daycare offer a place for your children to be supervised during their parents’ working hours, with the major difference lying in focus—daycares seek to supervise while preschools are built to teach. Aside from a contrast in function, you will also find differences in hours of operation and age limits, as daycares tend to be open longer to accommodate the working schedules of their parents and are also generally accepting of younger children.
Home Daycares & In-Home Nanny
Some parents prefer the familiar environment and focused caregiver attention that comes with hiring a nanny; however, what you gain in peace of mind as a parent your child may lose in terms of problem solving and social skill development that comes with interacting with peers.
Public Preschool vs. Private Options
Public preschools in Indiana generally run for half of the school day—in the morning or the afternoon. They also have restrictions on the age and geographical home of children who can attend. Some private child care programs like ABCs & 123s are certified as a preschool — meaning your child can get the benefits of education, while also being able to stay at the facility for longer (earlier and later) than traditional public preschools. Not all private childcare offers preschool education. Conversely, not all private preschools have flexible hours. Be sure to ask about both of these when you take a tour.
Making the decision of how your child will be cared for while you are at work is a real challenge. One great resource for Indiana families is Paths to QUALITY—an Indiana specific rating system for child care and education programs that certifies what each provider offers. Paths to Quality Level 2, 3, and 4 Providers have taken additional steps beyond state requirements to provide high quality programs.
Want to Schedule a Tour?
If you have any questions regarding our program, or you’d like to schedule a tour of one of our facilities, please contact us — we would love to talk with you!