two kids playing in a sand box with digging toys at daycare

Part Time Daycare

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Are you wondering if your child would benefit from daycare, but you’re not sure if full time daycare is right for your family? Check out these tips on part time daycare.

a child making shapes with playdough at part time daycare

Does your toddler light up when they see a group of kids? Have they learned how to share or do they need someone to practice with? Are they talking as well as you think they should be? Maybe you should consider part time daycare to help them develop further.

Kids teach other kids so much. And social skills are the number one predictor of future school success. So part time daycare might be just the thing to help your family. And there’s nothing wrong with a little time for mom to get things done either.

Part time vs full time daycare

Full time daycare is around 50 hours a week and it is costly, especially if you aren’t using it to produce income for your family. If you work a full time job, it’s just one of the expenses that your salary pays for. But if you’re using it to socialize your children or get your chores done at home, you probably don’t want to pay for full time care.

Part time care can be different things. Some facilities offer 4 hours a day in the morning or afternoon for part time care. Some offer one day a week, two days a week, or three days a week slots for part time care. There are so many benefits to a program like this. Just remember that a lot of facilities will not offer part time care, so you’ll have to look around a bit.

kids working at a table on letter tracing with a teacher at daycare

Daycare part time

Years ago, I did mom’s day out for stay at home moms. Some moms used one day a week and some used two. But it was always beneficial to the family when they did. Being a mom is hard. And you are doing a great job. But we all need help sometimes. You don’t have to do it all on your own.

There are so many benefits of daycare. Language and vocabulary skills see amazing growth from daycare involvement. The development of gross and fine motor skills improve. Running, swinging, climbing, and throwing balls with other kids help your child develop more advanced skills than playing alone. And don’t forget the benefits of new relationships for mom and the rest of the family.

Many times kids spend a lot of time in the car or in front of a tv. Or they can even spend too much time in a stroller or baby wearing device to get as much movement as they need. Daycare also usually has more opportunity for kids to use art materials and a greater variety of toys with small buttons and knobs that help them develop fine motor skills. There is also a greater variety of sensory stimulation in the activities at daycare.

So what should we look for in a good daycare for our children?

A toddler friendly schedule. Is there regular time scheduled for napping and eating that is a priority for the kids? Is there time for kids to play without adults leading? Do the adults take time to listen and respond to each child’s needs?

It’s far better for your child to have consecutive days at daycare than alternate days. So if there is a choice of monday/tuesday, select that over a monday/wednesday slot or a monday/friday slot. It’s easier on the kids to go consecutively.

How is the relationship between the adults and the children? Are the adults at the daycare warm? Do they talk with the kids? Are they on the floor with kids? I know I used to be, but can’t get down there as well any more. I still do it, but I invite the kids up to the couch with me more often now. Twenty six years of daycare is hard on a body!

Does the daycare include people of different ethnicities and abilities? Is everyone welcome and included? Are all kinds of people celebrated?

Does the daycare have soft furniture and soothing colors? Or is it all bold and plastic? Are the surfaces only hard? Is the noise overwhelming? Are there things on display that reflect the children’s interests? Or is it all cookie cutter themes planned by the teacher?

Do the kids get to spend time outside? During that time, are they encouraged to be part of nature, or is the play area just hard asphalt and a climber? Climbers are great, but kids should touch grass and dig in the dirt, and watch bugs too.

Is the menu balanced and varied to include the likes of different kids? Does it seem like all processed food or are they getting healthy, nurturing food?

Above all else, definitely trust your gut! There are warning signs of bad daycare, but if you just don’t feel right about it in your gut, run, don’t walk, and find something else for your child. You’ll know!

kids and a daycare teacher sitting at a table with crayons and paper

Part time daycare cost

The cost of part time daycare is usually higher per session than full time. And it will differ by the area you live in. I live in an area with low wages and low cost of living, so daycare in my area is less expensive than in many other places.

Call a few places and once you find a few that sound good, go and check about three of them (or more) out and get a feeling for the place. Then when you know which ones you like the best, find out what they charge for part time care and compare prices then.

So many times it turns out to be the best thing for everyone to find a little bit of time out for the kids. And you’re still an awesome mom whether you decide to do it or not!

If you have ever thought about running a daycare of your own, check this out.

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