Some families seek a more traditional alternative than paying for modern daycare. In many cultures, grandparents live in the same home as the family unit and take care of the children when the parents are at work. Grandparents are convenient babysitters because of their familiarity with the children and the family. Often times, grandparents who are retired will have time to dedicate to taking care of children. This role also allows them to keep themselves occupied, and spend time with their grandchildren. Children tend be more comfortable around a well-known and well-loved relative..
There are other inherent benefits to having a trusted grandparent or relative take care of your children instead of a daycare provider. Cost is a major factor. Grandparents can provide childcare for a cheaper price, or in some cases, they may watch the children for free. Another benefit of having family members provide a daycare service is the preservation of culture. It allows children to speak a second language and learn about their cultures, something they might not have been able to do at a daycare center.
There are some drawbacks though. Children might not adapt to new social settings as easily if they do not interact with other children their age. Another concern is that grandparents might not cover all the important parts of a child’s development. And toddlers often possess a hefty amount of energy, which might be too challenging for grandparents to handle.
Either way, it is important for infants and toddlers to receive lots of attention. They learn important communication skills through listening to others speak, and participating in the conversation. Physical contact and expressed affection can make children “more secure and better able to form adult relationships” when they grow up.
The parents must decide whether they will pay for a formal daycare center, or have family members take care of their children. Though the situation may not always allow for a decision if finances are limited or work schedules can’t be coodinated. It is always important for a parent to consider all of their options. Babysitters, relatives, daycare centers, and afterschool programs may be viable choices for a working parent. Websites such as offer babysitter listings based on your location. States often offer their own websites to search for daycares and early education providers. And parents can contact their children’s school to find out about possible afterschool programs.