Are licensed day cares worth the cost? [Durham Daycarers]

This week, reader Adam from Whitby submitted a question for the Durham Daycarers team for their take on whether licensed care was worth paying for. Dianne, a licensed day care supervisor and Demi, a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE) answered this question from a personal and professional point of view. Neither member of the Durham Daycarers team owns a centre, or shares in the profits from where they work.

Juggling the cost of childcare on top of a mortgage and the multitude of other costs is a struggle for almost every parent I speak to, and each person has personal reasons for why they choose the care that they do.  I asked my team the same question my reader asked me – “Are licensed day cares worth the cost?” to get their perspective on whether they felt the cost of licensed care was justified, and if so, their reasons why.

When speaking broadly about the benefits of licensed care, both responded with an overwhelming yes. Both admitted that while licensed care can be expensive, it is worth investing in while children are young. Of course, that’s easy to say when you’re not the parent, but thankfully one member of the Durham Daycarers team is a mother herself. I posed the question again in a different way to understand just how important licensed care is to this team – As a childcare professional, did your experience lead you to put your child in a licensed day care centre? Again, the answer was a firm yes.

The top three reasons that justify the costs of licensed care, as described by the Durham Daycarers team:

  1. Kindergarten preparedness. One look at the routine found at any centre and you’ll notice how close their consistent and structured routine emulates that of what you’d find in the school system. Planned activities are also tied learning outcomes, preparing both parents and children for the eventual transition to kindergarten.
  2. Tighter controls over standard of care. The standard of care will always vary between providers – licensed or not – however, there is a noticeable trend among parents who are quickly dissatisfied by unlicensed care. Parents who aren’t so lucky in their choice of home daycare, nanny or family member caregiver will seek out licensed care for reasons such as boredom shown by their child, an ongoing lack of interest or dislike of their caregiver, and more commonly, cases where TV takes over the majority of the child’s day. The framework that guides licensed centres (known as the ELECT or Early Learning for Every Child Today framework) ensures that what takes place within a licensed centre has a early childhood developmental benefit, based on the peer-reviewed literature that informs the document.
  3. Development of social skills. Licensed care provides the opportunity for children regular interaction with a group of their peers, while supervised by staff who are trained in leading and fostering early childhood development. Day care settings also teach children how to take direction from someone other than their parents – good practice for the eventual transition into the school system. Manners are encouraged often and early, developing good habits for life later on.
Readers, we love to hear from you. What have you always wanted to ask someone working at a centre?
Leave a comment on the blog, write us an email or send a message on Facebook with questions that you want answered. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!


Meet the Durham Daycarers

I’ve been in the fortunate position to meet the staff at many centres through my work on this blog, and two of the staff I met on my tours have agreed to be part of a regular series on The Motherhood Scene! This two-part team are passionate about their work as childcare professionals and are ready to answer your questions from a uniquely Durham perspective.

Your childcare questions answered, every Wednesday.
In this new series you will have the opportunity to ask the Durham Daycarers YOUR questions. Each week a blog post will be dedicated to answering one reader’s question from the perspective of both members of the Durham Daycarers team.

They have over 25 years combined experience working in licensed centres across Durham.
Our newest writers have broad experience working with children of all ages (infant, toddler, preschool and school age) in Pickering, Whitby and Oshawa areas. The more experienced member of the team, Dianne, works as a supervisor, and Demi, the second member of the team, works as a Registered Early Childhood Educator (RECE). To give this team the freedom to respond to your questions as best as possible, they’ve chosen not using their real names so they can remain anonymous.

Best of all, they’re excited to hear from you!
The aim of this series is to help parents feel confident about their childcare choices and educate parents on how to work with childcare professionals to get the best experience for their child. Demi writes, “My hope is that I can help parents with their questions and concerns, or even just to provide reassurance that there are good, loving caregivers in day cares”.

Readers, it’s over to you. What have you always wanted to ask someone working at a centre?
At any time you can comment on the blog, write us an email or send a message on Facebook with questions that you want answered. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!