Parents' Guide to Choosing the Right Childcare

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Finding the right childcare provider for your children is a big decision. A new, downloadable guide published by Cultural Care Au Pair, Choosing the Right Childcare, offers a comprehensive look at the various types of childcare and gives parents eleven questions to ask themselves before committing to a solution.

Guide to choosing the right childcare

Parents can download a free guide to choosing the right childcare.

There is no one perfect childcare choice for everyone; it really is a very personal, complex decision.

Finding the right childcare provider for your children is a big decision. Parents want quality childcare that stimulates and nurtures their children, provides peace of mind and doesn’t break the bank. Too often, parents pigeon-hole themselves into a traditional childcare arrangement without considering all of the available options and without thinking carefully about what their family’s specific needs are. A new, downloadable guide published by Cultural Care Au Pair, Choosing the Right Childcare offers a comprehensive look at the various types of childcare and gives parents eleven questions to ask themselves before committing to a solution.

The Choosing the Right Childcare guide defines and reviews six childcare options widely available to American families: center-based daycare, family daycare, au pair, nanny, nanny share and family coverage.

The first question posed in the guide is, “What is your weekly budget for childcare?” Using data from the annual Childcare Aware of America report, “Parents and the High Cost of Childcare”, as well as government data and salary surveys, the guide looks at average weekly costs for each of the childcare options. Options range from free (if parents are fortunate enough to have a willing family member care for their children) to $750 per week in some daycare centers.

Some of the other questions cover common topics –schedule, timing, child-to-staff ratios, live-in vs. live-out – but the guide also offers insight into some issues parents may not have yet considered. It asks parents to think about how much control they want over their child’s environment and how willing they are to invest time into an employer/caregiver relationship. The final question in the guide challenges parents to envision their family’s ideal lifestyle and asks, “What does that look like and which childcare options support that vision?”

“We talk to people all the time who are not sure what the au pair program is, how it compares to other types of childcare and if it is the right fit for their family,” says Christy Waller, Director of Online Marketing at Cultural Care. “Every option has advantages and disadvantages and we thought it would be helpful to create a guide that examined and compared several types of childcare. There is no one perfect choice for everyone; it really is a very personal, complex decision.”

The guide also contains a childcare quiz to help families come to a conclusion about what option best fits their needs. Based on questions about budget, schedule, level of help and flexibility needed, the guide provides direction for families so they know where to start.

“The response has been very positive,” says Waller. “Not only are we seeing a great deal of download traffic but families, especially new parents, are reaching out to us to thank us for providing this resource.”

Choosing the Right Childcare is available for free download from Cultural Care Au Pair.

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About Cultural Care Au Pair
Cultural Care Au Pair is the leading provider of intercultural, live-in childcare in the United States. Since 1989, Cultural Care Au Pair has placed more than 90,000 au pairs in welcoming American homes. A U.S. Department of State regulated program, Cultural Care Au Pair is headquartered in Cambridge, MA, with their own extensive network of recruitment, screening and orientation offices worldwide and more than 600 local coordinators across the U.S. For more information about hosting an au pair, visit http://www.culturalcare.com or call 800-333-6056.

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Susan Robinson
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