When it comes to childcare, you have many options available, including an actual professional facility, an in-home babysitter who comes to your home, or care given by another person in their own home. Each of these will have their own pros and cons, but note a few details you don't want to overlook, so you can determine the right choice for your family.

Child's comfort

You might immediately think that your child will be most comfortable at home, but consider that children need and enjoy socializing with other children. Being with other children not only gives a child company, but also teaches them how to behave in group settings; when a child is by himself or herself, they may not learn how to take turns and wait in line, or how to share.

Larger facilities may overwhelm smaller children, especially if they're an only child and aren't used to other children around. However, a small home with just one or two other children may get very boring for an older child, who actually wants more friends and the busyness of other children.

Food and snacks

A childcare facility might be more expensive, but may provide food, snacks, milk, and the like. When you leave your child with someone who works from their home, you may need to provide your child's lunch and beverages. The same is true if you have a babysitter or childcare worker come to your home; you may even be expected to provide them with lunch or refreshments. This may seem like a small thing, but these costs add up over the course of a month or year, so be sure you're considering this expense when determining the most affordable option for childcare.


If you rely on a babysitter who comes to your home, or a homecare facility managed by one person, what happens if that person gets sick or is otherwise unavailable? A professional facility may have other staff members on hand so that one absence doesn't affect your child's care, but consider how other childcare options may affect your daily schedule if someone was suddenly not available to care for your child.  This is especially important if you're hiring someone to come to your home; you need to ensure they have reliable transportation, and have a track record of actually showing up every day! If you're self-employed or have a flexible schedule, this might not be a concern, but many families need childcare that is very reliable, so be sure you take that into consideration when making your decision.