The Price of Quality Childcare

A family childcare provider continues the parents’ role of caregiver, nurturer, comforter, and first outside teacher.


A daycare provider is not a babysitter. A babysitter comes into your home for a few hours, on occasion. You tell her what you want her to do for your child.


A family childcare provider welcomes you and your child into her home. She has expectations, rules, boundaries, a daily schedule, and activities planned to enrich the day. She has a safe and enriching playroom for children to have a multitude of things to do and play with. She is intentional in her daily activities.


She plans and prepares meals, lesson plans, and activities. She will keep your child safe, clean, and without diaper rashes due to routine diaper changes. She practices hand washing often, as best practice, to ward off illness and prevent harmful bacteria from getting in the wrong places.


She attends annual training to further her education on child development and stay current on industry standards. She will appreciate your family values and child rearing practices. She is most likely a mother herself and draws her inspiration and guidelines from her own parenting techniques.


She is professional, reliable, accountable, and you can rely on her judgment and wisdom in all things relating to children. Working together as a team, you will provide the best for your child. She may notice a need for intervention before you do and can serve as a valuable resource for noticing the small things. She may offer suggestions, if appropriate.


The provider is not a substitute for you. You are the most important person in your child’s life and the provider respects and supports that. A provider is an extension of your family.

Congratulations! You found a childcare provider whose ability and reputation is trustworthy! Your provider is kind, caring, loving, and fun. In addition, your provider really knows how to stimulate your child’s development.

But you don’t like the rules in the childcare contract. In your opinion, the contract gives too many holiday/sick/personal/vacation/training days to the provider. Late fee charges are too severe and you know there are providers who charge less for services. You are thinking about forcing a few changes in the childcare contract to better accommodate your convenience and pocketbook. Before you take action, consider these points:

  • A key to excellent child care performance is the happiness and contentment of the provider
  • A Handbook of policies helps both parties understand business expectations- the provider has these policies in place because they are solid and she has found that they work well for the program
  • A provider with scheduled time off (with plenty of advance notice, of course!) is less likely to quit or suffer burnout and parents can plan accordingly for any closure dates
  • Attempting to force contract changes may lead to disharmony and reduce the quality of your child’s care and may cause resentment for both parties
  • The expense you put forth into childcare is an investment in your child’s welfare
  • Sacrifice is part of parenting. Parental sacrifice may include scheduling your vacation days around your provider’s schedule or paying a higher childcare tuition or late fees in order to ensure your child will continue to receive the best care available
  • The bite in the pocketbook is temporary. Your child will not stay little forever. The necessity for full-time childcare is only for a few years
  • Studies indicate the first 3 years of a child’s life are the most formative years


Now, weigh your convenience and pocketbook against the happiness and well-being of your child. The balance should weigh heavily in your child’s favor.

Benefits of Family Childcare