- Family and Parenting
Choosing The Right Dayhome For Your Family
Choosing The Right Dayhome For Your Family
We live in a time of price-based shopping, regardless of what we are searching for.
Ask yourself when the last time was that you simply purchased an item, any item without even considering the price. That long ago right? I'm the same way in most areas.
Here's some food for thought. Like most of us, especially if you are a parent, you visit the grocery store often and you may be able to shop blindfolded because we typically go for the same items time and time again. We also may recall prices for these same items but do you go in the store assuming the price is exactly the same as the last and just throw it in the basket? Or do you look at the sticker each time? As with most things, food prices increase in general, but they can change weekly in many grocery stores with sales and specials.
Not only do we check the price sticker when shopping, but when we grocery shop for meat and produce, we rarely grab the first item we see and often look at what's on the rack to choose the best looking one. You wouldn't choose a bag of bruised apples over one without, or a package of bacon that is mainly fat over one that is mainly meat. Personally, when I buy milk I never take from the front, I always look for the furthest date and it's not because I don't use it soon enough, I just prefer my food items to be as fresh as possible. It's all the same thing and a carton of milk with a date two days earlier would do just fine, but we tend to grab what appeals to us more in physical appearance and quality.
Regular shoppers know good deals, and we always gravitate towards them but lets say there's no deal, the item is exactly the same price it was last week only smaller. For example, I love Spaghetti Squash and it is not a cheap produce item but one week I purchased a rather large one for around $4. The following week, the ones in the bin were at least half the size if not smaller but the price had not changed. Like most of us, when we know we can get something better for a certain price, we wait for that, we don't say oh well, I will pay this price for much less do we? That squash isn't a necessity for me, so I can wait another week to see what they bring in. A larger one for that price is worth the wait for me.
Now I know not everything is on the same level as grocery items such as baby diapers and toiletries. These things are necessity and we can't always say I'll wait another week if we are needing these items so we buy them no matter the price. Some may just go for a cheaper brand, but what if your baby has a poor reaction to any other brand than your usual? Not everyone has the cheaper brand as an option so they pay the price. Necessities aren't always negotiable.
Other purchases, especially much larger ones such as buying a house, or a vehicle, these are not purchased on appearance alone. We look at many, some times dozens before we decide on one and there are many factors involved in that purchase. You need to know details such as the year, it's history to whatever extent you can obtain, is it safe, is it in need of repair, is there enough space, enough rooms and so on. When considering buying a new TV around the holidays, you don't go pay the current full price, no you wait a few weeks for Boxing week sales! It doesn't matter that the TV is exactly the same three weeks later, what matter is it's $300 less than it was three weeks earlier.
Now, you're probably wondering what does grocery shopping and house or car buying have to do with child care? Well, we're choosy with what we feed our families, what we drive, watch and where we live, but how choosy are with where we place our children while we're at work? Not very, due to a price based world. And even if you find a great price, how much effort do you put in to ensuring the day home you choose is the best fit for your family?
In my experience, the main question of rate is often the only question asked and if the answer is not what the person wants to hear, the discussion ends, just like that.
Okay, do you care where your child goes for the majority of their week? Do you not want to know where they will be and who they will be with? What they may be doing, learning, or eating? Often parents don't even care to have an interview if the price isn't right and I wonder if they do delve in further with the provider that offers a lower rate or if that's the only deciding factor.
Why are parents not choosier with their child care provider than they are their vegetables? I don't have an answer to that.
There are so many factors involved with choosing not just any child care provider, but the RIGHT child care provider. Location and environment, is the provider properly educated, trained and certified? If there were an emergency, would the provider know what to do, and are you aware of their methods? Do you get a good impression from the provider and is the provider recommended by others? How is the communication with them? Do they communicate with you while your child is in their care? Does your provider have a contract to protect both you and them? What are the meals and snacks being served, is the home safe, what will your child be learning? What are the hours of operation, is there nap time, how many children are in the provider's care? Do they have policies, and what are they?
Here's another scenario to think about. When you meet someone new, whether it be a friend or relationship, do you place a lot of your decision on how you feel around them or do you just choose them by what looks good on paper? We, by default, are very choosey with who we associate and spend time with, yet are we doing the same with who our children are with?
Cost, yes, is a factor and a large one at that for most families and yes, we are in priced based world, but your children are priceless and they deserve the best care possible. The level of care your child receives cannot be determined by price and your child care provider should not be chosen by price alone if you want and expect the best fit for your family.
If you don't care about these things, and want to pay very minimally, then hire a babysitter and not a professional. Great providers love what they do and you can see it in their work however they are also doing this to make a living, but many go without so you can make yours.
There are a lot of great child care providers out there that are being overlooked and there are plenty of not so good providers. By choosing quality care, you will also help weed out those poor providers and provide for better raised children.
A great Child Care Provider is worth the wait and the price they ask.