Daycare at a licensed facility: Think of Tutor Time or other facility.

Pros. Cost is less than a nanny. Children get to practice social skills interacting with others. Teachers usually have education in early childhood and there are daily lessons. Super cute crafts!

Cons:Kids are often sick. If children are sick and cannot go to daycare someone will be needed to stay home with them.

How to find a licensed daycare facility:  This is fairly simple, you may drive past a Tutor Time or facility of this likeness every day.  The key is finding one that fits with your needs and family.  Some daycares offer drop in rates, while others make you attend a certain number of days.  You will have to research each facility and make appointments to visit.  I would highly recommend visiting a facility before choosing one.  In my own experience, I thought we had found a great facility only to stop by during the day and find that there was one caregiver for 8 babies.  Not something I was comfortable with at all.

Licensed in home daycares: These are daycare centers in a family’s home that the state has approved for safety and granted a license of care.

Pros: Very reasonable prices, usually run by another mom, socialization with other children. Often groups are smaller than a facility.  Available for tax credit.

Cons: Illness, not always as structured as daycare and the parent may not have any previous child care experience. May not be able to drive children. Though, caregiver may have been screened, not everyone who lives in the home is checked out.

How to find a licensed in home care:  The most common place to find these listings is on craigslist.  They will often post on and sittercity.  You will have to visit these homes as well.  We had another experience with an in home care that smelled strongly of urine every time I was there.  I understood that she had a lot of children in the home, but these are little things you should be noticing.


Unlicensed in home daycares: These are in home child care locales that have not been visited by the state and approved for safety.

Pros: very affordable, socialization with others, may be willing to care for children who are ill.

Cons: Home has not been verified as safe for in home care and caregiver may not have been screened with a background check.  Child to caregiver ratio may be unknown.

How to find unlicensed in home daycares: These are usually listed on craigslist, or sittercity as well.  I know many great previous nannies who have become in home care providers, but you really need to do your research.  See if they offer a webcam in their home or other safety devices.  Check their background and home for safety.

Below is a checklist to help you find the best daycare for your family

Daycare Checklist