Making an informed decision regarding the regular care of your children is one of the most important decisions that you’ll face during their formative years. If you’re considering care based in the home of your childcare provider, here are seven facts that you should consider.

1.       Most States Have Limited Licensing Requirements for Home-Based Care – The regulations and requirements for licensing a childcare provider that operates out of their home are, in most states, considerably more lax than those governing a daycare center housed in commercial property. As a result, equipment, and even cleanliness, might not be as tightly regulated depending on the individual laws of your state. In some cases, home-based childcare may not always be the best option.

2.       Unlicensed Caregivers Are Restricted to Fewer Charges – Provided that caregivers maintain a specified number of charges in their own home, most states do not require them to obtain commercial childcare licensing. A small, in-home operation through a capable, experienced, and competent caregiver who is not interested in procuring a commercial license can keep care on a personal level, eliminating the chance of overcrowding and inattentiveness, but ensuring that kids are able to interact with a select number of other kids.

3.       Keeping Kids Out of Daycare Reduces Their Risk of Communicable Illness – A 2009 Fox News report indicated that children who attend daycare are more likely to suffer from chronic ear infections and the common cold more often than their counterparts who have private, in-home childcare. These findings come as no surprise to parents who have been forced to send their little ones to daycare, only to have them return with a fever and runny nose multiple times a year.

4.       Kids with Behavioral Disorders Benefit from Being Cared for in Their Own Home – Children with some behavioral disorders, such as ADHD and some autism spectrum disorders, are reliant upon a familiar setting and a steady routine to control their symptoms. Engaging a nanny or other in-home childcare provider allows parents to keep their special kids in a setting that best suits them and their individual needs.

5.       Childcare in Your Home is Easier to Monitor – When care takes place in their home, parents have more control over the environment and can check-in with their nanny when they’d like. Parents that want to use nanny cams and other monitoring devices, provided that the practice isn’t prohibited by their state laws, can easily do this in their private homes.

6.       Dietary Rules and Restrictions Are More Easily Enforced in Your Own Home – When your childcare provider comes to your home to look after her charges, she is limited in her menu choices to foods pre-approved by you. When you supply the food the likelihood of your children being exposed to food you’ve excluded from their diet is greatly diminished. When you send your child to home-based care, she could be fed unapproved foods or accidently ingest something she’s allergic to.

7.       The Setting Determines the Tax Requirements – Many nanny employers mistakenly believe that their live-in or live-out nanny can be considered an independent contractor, absolving them from the legal responsibility to pay employment taxes. However, a domestic employer who adheres to a schedule set by her employers and works within their home is not considered an independent contractor at all, but is instead an employee of the parents. Childcare providers that look after their charges in their home within the parameters of hours they’ve set aren’t employees and may be considered independent contractors.

A reputable childcare provider based out of their own home should allow you to thoroughly examine the areas in which your child will be kept, as well as observe them over the course of an afternoon in order to ensure that her other charges seem happy, healthy, and fond of her. Some home-based daycare and daycare centers often restrict parents’ access, citing liability for the safety of their charges. In-home childcare allows parents a considerably increased level of control and, almost invariably, a more personal experience in comparison to daycare.

 Our thanks to for this good information to help parents in the important decision of care for their children. pb