A common question parents ask us is, “Should we choose a daycare close to work or home?” This may be an easy answer for some parents. Other parents may need to weigh out the pros and cons before making a decision on choosing a daycare close to home or work. Below are a few factors to consider when making your decision.
Who is in charge of drop-off and pick-up?
If one parent is in charge of picking up and dropping off, then finding a daycare near your work won’t be too troublesome. If both parents share the responsibility, then a daycare near your home may work better. Of course, if you work with, or near, your spouse, then this may not be a concern.
Other factors to consider are illnesses that may require a parent to stay home from work. A daycare near home may be more convenient if another parent has to take over the responsibility temporarily. Also, what if a friend or grandparent needs to help with pick-up or drop-off from time to time? Is it more convenient for them to do that near your work or near your home?
Another factor to consider is, how often does the person in charge of picking up and dropping off travel or work from home? Even if you only travel occasionally for work, driving out the way for daycare can still be a hassle. The same applies if you have the opportunity to work from home occasionally.
How long is your commute?
Some parents may look at their commute time as an extra time to spend with their child. Others may want the time to prepare or decompress before and after work and listen to their favorite podcast. Either way, commute time is an important factor when choosing a daycare near your home or work. Do your kids hate riding in the car for long periods of time? Could they potentially fall asleep during a long commute, ruining a later naptime or bedtime?
Some parents prefer the comfort of having a daycare closer to their work in case they need to pop in for an emergency. Nursing mothers may also enjoy the comfort of being able to stop in to nurse their infants during the day. Another advantage would be to enjoy lunches or special holiday activities and events with your child at their center more often. While this may be ideal for some parents, others may find it difficult for their child when they come and go. This may make visiting during the work day more difficult for you and your child instead of enjoyable.
What are your future plans?
Are you planning on having more kids? Are your older kids transitioning to elementary school or have afterschool sports? Your children may still need afterschool daycare in kindergarten. A daycare near your home or within your school district, may offer more flexibility for busing and pick-ups for all of your children.
What if your job changes or you plan on moving? If you know you could potentially be changing jobs, finding a daycare near your home may work best for your family. On the other hand, you may want to move into a larger home as your family expands and having a daycare near your work may offer more consistency for your child.
Meeting other families and friends are important too!
Many families that choose a daycare near their home have the opportunity to meet other families in their area. This can be ideal when planning things like birthday parties, playdates, and extra-curricular activities with other children. If you plan on staying in the area, your children can potentially meet friends that will be joining them in elementary school as well.
On the other hand, parents that choose a daycare near work can meet more families that they work with through their children. This can provide great networking opportunities and chances to get to know the people you work with better.
Choosing a Daycare – What’s your opinion?
What is your opinion on choosing a daycare close to work or home? Have other factors been more important to your family?