Infant day care and childminding are often the same sorts of programs. Childminding is a broader term that can include watching children during the evening or at night, as well as during normal work hours. Regardless of how the term is used, most childminding centers and day care programs offer similar sorts of programs for families. They allow parents to work while having reliable professionals watch their kids. However, infant day care can offer much more than simple supervision. It offers an outlet for socialization, fun activities, basic education, and social/emotional development.
Large Day Care vs. Home-based Childminding
Day programs are generally much larger and allow kids to interact with more people. On the other hand, this also means exposure to more germs and potentially less of a relationship between childminders and kids. Home childminding programs may have fewer kids and a better staff to student ratio. However, there may also be fewer activities, more TV watching, and fewer structured curriculums and activities. This is not necessarily the case, however, and the curriculums vary from one family program to the next. Larger programs also tend to be more expensive and may have more rigid curriculums while family centers tend to be more flexible and cheaper.
Academic Success and Education
Additionally, some infant day care programs specifically emphasize academic success and education. The main focuses of such programs are educational development in terms of language skills, artistic skills, cognitive skills, and physical development. These programs may also focus on social and emotional skills. One major aspect is trying to help kids work on good behavior.
One major model for helping kids develop good behavior is called the Positive Behavior Intervention & Support Initiative (PBIS). This is the program used by the U.S. Department of Education in their Office of Special Education Programs for helping kids grow and succeed. PBIS is a program for promoting good behaviors in kids, and it also offers teachers and staff techniques and strategies on how to get these behaviors across most effectively. For example, one strategy is to teach kids what they should do and what is expected of them, rather than focusing on what they shouldn’t do. This model is based on research on children’s behavior and is implemented in many schools and infant day care programs as a model for how to ingrain good behaviors in kids.
Day care centers are expensive, the curriculums and activities vary from one place to the next, and many of them are completely full! However, by doing some research, you can see whether a larger, more traditional program or a smaller and more flexible family-based program is better for your needs. It’s also a good idea to research the different activities and educational curriculums each center offers, as well as looking at the programs (like PBIS) that these schools use as their behavioral and educational models.