I am returning to work in February and am presently looking for fulltime daycare. I am struggling over the large daycare versus smaller home daycare options. Larger daycares are heavily regulated and have a lot of oversight. However smaller daycares have fewer children and therefore fewer "bugs" circulating (which seems even more important at this time with the H1N1 virus). If that wasn't enough to consider we live in Strathroy and work in London, therefore the location of daycare is also a concern. In conclusion the two questions are: 1) Home-based daycare or large facility 2) Near work or near home

Thanks for your replies in advance

asked 28 Sep '09, 20:58

Helen's gravatar image

accept rate: 20%


Just to be clear, that's London and Strathroy in Ontario, Canada (since we have so many users from the UK on these days...) :)

(28 Sep '09, 21:02) Scott ♦♦

And some from Argentina, for whom it wouldn't make a difference :)

(28 Sep '09, 21:14) JJJ

I was thinking that that's a heck of a long way to take your child to daycare every day... ;-)

(28 Sep '09, 21:31) Ratinox

This should be a community Wiki question

(29 Sep '09, 07:11) kurtseifried

@kurtseifried: The question is specific. Why do you think it should be a community wiki? A question like "what are the best daycares in city XXX" would be community wiki.

(29 Sep '09, 09:44) Scott ♦♦

We've put both our kids in a large daycare, and really couldn't recommend it enough. Not only do the children learn to socialise in a large group - which is important when they get to school age - but the centre is also able to organise more activities for them, including, on occasion, offsite visits. The children also then have friends waiting for them when they graduate to school.

The bugs consideration is not one I'd worry about - in fact, if anything, I'd prefer mine to have exposure to the more common childhood ailments relatively early on since it contributes toward a more robust immune system.

Obviously, the quality of care can vary quite significantly from centre to centre; I would urge you to investigate any candidates thoroughly and insist on a visit prior to enrolling your child. The centre we use also hosts periodic parent-teacher type evenings, where you get the opportunity to spend some time talking to your child's carers and discussing any issues that may have arisen.

Also, consider the amount of outdoor space as well as indoor space; it's just as important for children to spend time playing outside as it is to have well-appointed play areas inside.

Finally, one other important benefit to the daycare centre that we use is that all meals are prepared onsite, with attention given to each child's dietary requirements. This reduces the need for us to provide meals for the children and thus just makes life that little bit easier!


answered 28 Sep '09, 21:43

Ratinox's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

We think it depends on the child. We have 2 kids, one in a day care and one with a child minder although both have attended the other type of day care. They seem to flourish in different environments and interact with people (peers and carers) differently.

We have found for our two, that the more out going and confident one seems to suit a day care centre better whereas the quieter one benefit more from the personal care and attention from our child minder.

You might want to consider different factors such as a wider variety of staff of a day care centre means that they have a wider selection of staff to find someone to bond with, but on the other hand, staff probably turn over more quickly than with a child minder.

We have also found it handy to have the child care near home because it is more flexible for both parents and if you came home from work early you could do odd jobs around the house before collecting the kids, but nearer work means you spend more time with your kids in the car travelling to and from.

Being exposed to a wider range of bugs is probably good for them longer term (both of ours have had H1N1 with no issues, fortunately, picked up on holiday when they'd been out of child care for a week!), but a local child minder is more likely to take an ill child than a professional day care centre, so you may miss less work though your childs illness.


answered 28 Sep '09, 22:17

Colin's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

I would go with the smaller in home daycare if I personally knew the person running it or if you were recommended a person by someone you knew. I would feel most safe about those first two options versus a larger daycare. But if I didn't know anyone personally I would definitely consider a larger daycare. I would recommend that you check out each place you are considering! Oh and I would agree with Colin that you should have the child care near home versus near work!


answered 29 Sep '09, 00:01

Melissa%201's gravatar image

Melissa 1
accept rate: 15%

I actually agree totally with all the points by Ratinox. Outdoor playspace is vital in my opinion.

The only point I would like to add is depending who will collect or drop off your child, then location becomes important. For example the first nursery my daughter attended was located in a building adjacent to my office, so it made sense to send her there despite the small garden. She was two at the time but it felt comfortable to have her nearby, I would bring her every morning and pick her up in the evenings. This lasted for 18 months.

To be really frank this was not the best daycare centre in my opinion, the building was a little small, the outdoor area was a little too compact, and the paintwork needed touching up, but having said that the ambience was amazing, welcoming, you could see that the teachers really enjoyed working there, the meals were prepared daily on the premises.

While she was there we knew she enjoyed it but not to which extent. Last year we enrolled her at one of the important pre-schools in the city. During the first Parent Teacher meeting we were told that she was the only child to run into class every morning and greet her teacher with a smile. They were impressed, we were suprised.


answered 29 Sep '09, 05:34

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 29 Sep '09, 16:15

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Asked: 28 Sep '09, 20:58

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Last updated: 29 Sep '09, 16:15