The Importance of In-Home and Center-Based Daycare

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Over the past decades, maternal employment has increased tremendously (Pardeck, Pardeck, & Murphy, 1986). The increase in maternal employment has formed the necessity for alternate care engagements for young children and infants. Parents have two options of care for their children specifically home-based and center-based childcare (Gordon, Colaner,

Usdansky, &  Melgar, 2013). This essay argues that a blend of both in-home and center-based daycare provide a superlative environment for an optimum growth and development for the children. Children in in-home daycares have better behavioral coping mechanisms and partial social competence skills, while those in either low- and high-quality center-based daycare score higher in reading and math than the former (Gordon et al. 2013). Therefore, a combination of both in-home and center-based daycare arrangements will provide an optimum environment for the growth and development of the child in every necessary aspect. The next sections will provide supporting evidence on the importance of a combination of daycare options and later provide a conclusion on the topic.

Gordon et al. (2013) concluded that children who attended center-based daycare had better performances in reading and mathematics. Further, children who go to center-based care centers have greater scores in perceptive evaluations (Bradley & Vandell, 2007) and higher intellectual abilities (Pardeck, Pardeck, & Murphy, 1986). Children in center-based settings have the opportunities to learn imperative skills that cannot be learned in a home-based daycare. A center-based daycare setting provides the child with an opportunity to play with other children while learning. This is unlike the home-based daycare settings that may not provide enough time for the children to develop cognitive and intellectual abilities at a young age. Conversely, it is imperative to understand that children from economically challenged backgrounds have been found to benefit more than their peers from academically challenged backgrounds (Pardeck, Pardeck, & Murphy, 1986; Votruba-Drzal

et al., 2011). While cognitive and intellectual abilities are vital, social competence status of a child is essential because they influence how they interact with individuals.

Children in center-based daycare settings have better social competence skills (Bradley & Vandell, 2007; Gordon et al., 2013; Votruba-Drzal

et al., 2011). Apart from having better intellectual and cognitive abilities, children in center-based daycare settings have better social competence skills. The children have higher self-confidence, are less anxious in new environments (Bradley & Vandell, 2007), better relationships with peers, educators, and adults (Pardeck, Pardeck, & Murphy, 1986), and better social functioning (Votruba-Drzal

et al., 2011). Children in center-based childcare centers have an opportunity of interacting with their peers from different backgrounds, which generally improves their social competence levels. However, the interaction levels of children in in-home daycare settings have fewer opportunities to interact with their peers and adults. To this end, it is vital to choose a center-based childcare center for a socially liberated child. However, most studies have found that most children who go to center daycares have behavioral problems despite having better social competence.

Children who go to center day-cares have more behavioral problems as related to kids in in-home settings. Bradley and Vandell (2007) claimed that children in center-based settings have poor peer relations and adjustment problems from the age of 2 to the completion of pre-school. Votruba-Drzal et al. (2011) also concluded that the more time spent in center-based childcare, the higher the level of behavioral problems exhibited by the children. The behavioral problems come by as a result of anxiety and stress due to constant changes in the type of environment and long periods of being placed in strange settings (Votruba-Drzal et al., 2011). When children are moved from one setting to another, they might exhibit signs of stress and anxiety because of the uncertainty. Further, the children might have a hard time coping with new environments when they are initially introduced to them. However, this can be averted through use of home-based daycare settings to improve the behavioral issues of the child because the child will suffer fewer cases of anxiety and stress due to the adoption of new environments.

From the above discussion, it is clear that both home-based and center-based settings have their advantages and disadvantages. Placing a child in one of the settings may lead to them lacking intellectual and cognitive abilities, social competence, or experiencing behavioral problems during in their later stages of life. To avoid these problems, it is vital that parents place their children in both daycare settings if possible. The arrangement will ensure that the children acquire the best of pre-school developmental experiences. However, it is vital to consider a family’s economic class before placing the children in either of the settings. The needs of the children are met adequately when placed in areas that nurture every aspect of their lives without leaving out any of them. Conclusively, the quality of the center-based care center is one of the important factors that any parent should consider because of the superiority of attention given to the child differs extensively with quality (Bradley & Vandell, 2007; Gordon et al., 2013).  


Bradley, R., & Vandell, D. (2007). Child Care and the Well-being of Children. Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, 161(7), 669-676.

Gordon, R. A., Colaner, A., Usdansky, M. L., & Melgar, C. (2013). Beyond an “Either-Or” Approach to Home- and Center-Based Child Care: Comparing Children and Families who Combine Care Types with Those Who Use Just One. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 28(4), 10.1016/j.ecresq.2013.05.007.

Pardeck, J., Pardeck, J., & Murphy, J. (1986). A Critical Analysis of the Impact of Day Care on the Pre-School Child and the Family. The Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, 13(4), 896-919.

Votruba-Drzal, E., Coley, R. L., Maldonado-Carreño, C., Li-Grining, C., & Chase-Lansdale, P. L. (2010). Child Care and the Development of Behavior Problems among Economically Disadvantaged Children in Middle Childhood. Child Development, 81(5), 1460–1474.

November 24, 2023

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