Quality Child Care Matters

Families today need quality child care providers possibly more than ever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 nearly 70% of all women with children work, or are looking for work outside the home. 


Father and daughter indoors playing and smiling

So where do local parents turn when it’s time to find someone to nurture their child while they’re at the office? Nanny, child care center, grandma, stay-at-home spouse, in-home daycare, work-from-home. Don’t worry, mom and dad–you’ve got options! If you’re interested in daycare centers, check out our list of local daycare centers that families love

Another popular option is in-home daycare providers. I recently spoke with Jayne Cotten, owner of Cotten’s Childcare in Grand Rapids, about some of the common reasons some families choose in-home daycare. Jayne has owned and operated Cotten’s Childcare, an in-home daycare for over 38 years. (If you’re interested in her daycare, email her soon as she currently has a 3.5 year wait list.)

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Benefits of In-Home Daycare

1- Close Proximity

It’s hard enough to get ready and out of the house on time each day, so having a childcare provider that lives close by is a huge plus. Many parents find in-home daycares in their neighborhood and by word-of-mouth.

Seeing a childcare provider in action is helpful and happens more readily when you live near an in-home daycare provider. You might run into them at the park or library with their daycare kids and that gives parents an opportunity to feel connected to the provider and able to trust them.

2- Personal Relationship

You and your child can develop a close relationship with a childcare provider in any setting, but when comparing in-home daycares to childcare centers there is much less turnover in the home setting.

The close, personal parent-provider relationship is a hallmark of in-home daycares. Some children are with their daycare provider from birth to kindergarten or even beyond. “This longevity provides a bond not just for the child that is in care, but for the entire family.  Parents and caregiver have good communication since it is a daily interaction with the same person,” says Jayne Cotten.

Beautiful happy family mother and teething baby daughter holding white board, isolated.

3- Home Care Allows for Sibling Bonding

For parents with siblings, the in-home daycare setting is wonderful because the children can grow together and build strong bonds. Jayne tells all parents in her interviews that if they have an older sibling that the older sibling naturally looks out for their younger sibling if they were to not receive proper care. “The baby can’t tell you ‘I cried all day or I wasn’t held very much,’ but the older sibling can.”

Cotten loves watching siblings bond. She currently has a 3 year old sister that loves snuggling and cuddling with her baby brother.

4- Home-Like Setting

Cotten’s favorite slogan is: “There is no place like home, or in-home childcare!” 

In-home daycares are, naturally, more like a home environment. The space reminds children of their home, more than a center-setting, and the meals are served family style.

family lunch in home daycare

“The meals are typically homemade and are nutritious. Children can learn to serve themselves at an earlier age and learn portion control. All skills to promote independence,” says Cotten.

5- Socialization and Free Play

In-home daycares allow for a lot more freedom to grow naturally with a flexible schedule. For example, if a child doesn’t want to color, she doesn’t need to color. The child can go join the other kids that are doing puzzles.

Cotten focuses on educating kids through natural opportunities. For example, kids don’t even realize they are learning to count when they are playing “1, 2 Buckle My Shoe” with a friend.

Cotten likes to say to a child, “How about you go pick out ten of your favorite books and we’ll read together?” If they bring back eight books, she’ll count with them and help them get ten books.

Children can learn constantly in the home daycare environment, even though there is a less rigid daily structure when compared to childcare centers.

6- Reasonable Rates

Typically, in-home daycares cost less than childcare centers and certainly less than a private nanny. Licensing costs and requirements are on the rise, so Cotten said the licensed, in-home daycare costs are rising, as well. She said on average in the Grand Rapids area, you can find full-time childcare for around $160/week (care for infants typically costs more).

Finding high-quality childcare that fits a family’s budget can be a big challenge, so it is important to consider all your options when finding the right childcare provider for your family.


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We want to hear from you!

Knowing that every family is unique, we would love to hear about your experience with finding child care for your family. Did we miss any top reasons families choose in-home daycare providers? Let us know! And, if you have an in-home daycare provider you love, leave a comment to let us know about them below.


**Please note it is the user’s responsibility to thoroughly investigate and research potential childcare providers. Grand Rapids Kids is providing this article for informational purposes only.