When both parents work full time, finding daycare or childcare can be a challenge. Let’s first define exactly what the difference is between the two. “Day care” is the term many people still use to refer to out-of-home care for children during the day while their parents are at work. The term “child care” is more inclusive. Child care can be provided in a child care center, in a family child care home, or by family, friends, or neighbors.

Children are taken care of by their parents, legal guardians, or siblings in most scenarios. Although this may be a convenience for the parents, this care involves verbal guidance and other specific training to care of the child. There’s more to it than just saying “keeping an eye out for brother or sister”.

Almost all the available childcare institutions require extensive first-aid qualifications and CPR skills. In addition, background checks, drug testing and reference checks are requirements at all centers. Support for kids may consist of advanced learning environments which include early childhood or primary education. There’s usually a day-to-day exercise program structured to foster advancement in the development of the child. In many cases a teacher (or a person with a background in child development) sets the agenda and is in charge of overall care.

Another term often heard in the childcare world is “nanny”. The differences between nannies and babysitters can also vary from family to family. Typically, nannies are hired to care for your kids on consistent schedules while babysitters are hired on an as-needed, short-term basis, usually for a short period of time. The most common way to find a nanny is online on dedicated websites specializing in career services or through a nanny agency.

Nanny agencies are recommended because they can provide a more thorough assessment and conduct and a criminal background check on the successful candidate. A nanny could be a cheaper route than putting multiple children in a full-time daycare setting (depending on the daycare costs in your area).

Another advantage to this is some parents believe that when the same caregiver is kept over time, in-home care would provide more stability for the child. Nannies often work overtime, and some also look after sick children while kindergartens typically do not.  This allows parents to continue working their normal schedule with their children being cared for in the comfort of their own home.

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