Things to Consider when Comparing Daycare and Childcare Options for your Family

Families with a nearby grandparent or traveling childcare provider may decide that in-home care is the best option for them.  In many cases, families choose this option to have their child in a home setting rather than a group setting in a center-based childcare facility. Here are some things to consider when looking for daycare in the Oswego and Syracuse areas. Each care option has its own positives and negatives, it is important to find a care option that fits your family.

Grandparent Care:

Grandparent care is a good option for some who are seeking family connections and bonds with in home childcare. This is also a good option for some as quality childcare may be out of reach. Other times, the hours needed for daycare (weekends or evenings) can only be accommodated by a grandparent. Once a child enters the preschool age, 3 and 4 years old, grandparents and childcare centers/preschools often share the care and education of children. 

Home-based Childcare:

In-home daycare is another choice for parents. Some independent day care providers work from their homes. This allows the child to be in a group setting but still offers the amenities of an in home atmosphere. Home daycares often do a lot of educational activities. However, the wide variety of materials found in center-based care facilities may not be present due to lack of space or cost.  Home daycares are sometimes focused primarily on care rather than education. It may be possible to find a home daycare provider that has a flexible schedule.  Home daycares are required to be licensed by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and are required to get continued training.  Be sure to ask about the ratios and license when considering in-home daycare.

Childcare Center facilities:

Childcare centers are focused on care and education. Employees require a minimum of a CDA or Associates degree for employment.  Employees are also regulated by OCFS and required to continue training.  Childcare centers sometimes offer programs and trainings for families on childhood education. Some facilities even offer family activities such as holiday events. Group sizes follow the OCFS standards, this means that most times children are cared for by more than one adult.  Some childcare centers also offer a preschool option with a certified teacher and curriculum to prepare children for school.


Interview provided by Penny Lupo, who has a Bachelors of Science in early childhood education and her master’s in mental health counseling. Lupo has worked in childcare for more than ten years as a preschool teacher, program coordinator and center director. Lupo is licensed by NYS as a mental health counselor and is certified by The National Institute for Relationship Enhancement as a play therapist. She has a great passion for working with children, teaching them and helping them grow.

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