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Day Care Near Home or Near Work? The Pros and Cons

Reasons to consider when searching for child care

Published on: October 31, 2018

Mom with child in infant car seat heading to day care then work

Finding reliable, quality child care is tricky business, even before we get to the debate about whether choosing a day care near your home or near your work makes the most sense for you.

Some families' wages can't stand up to the high cost of child care, so perhaps one parent stays home. Other families have only one parent, so not working isn't an option.

Some families can't afford to live without two incomes — in our high cost-of-living area — so child care is a necessity.

If your family is among those searching for a child care center or in-home day care — and lucky enough to have options to choose from — there's an important question:

Should you choose child care near your home or near your work?

This very question prompted vigorous debate around the table at ParentMap. Together we raised the issues listed among the pros and cons below.

One note: We understand that location is certainly not the only consideration for families. Other factors include availability, price, atmosphere, philosophy, reputation, size, food offerings, faith affiliation and more.

Child care near home pros and cons

Pros:

  • Two partners can share drop-offs and pick-ups more easily with a day care near their home
  • If you or your partner can sometimes work from home, or you need to take a sick day, day care near home makes more sense
  • If you live in the suburbs, day care near home might be more affordable
  • Child care near your home can facilitate a non-driving commute to work, such as transit or bicycling

Cons:

  • With a day care near home, you are away from your child more total hours of the day; hours can add up if you have a long commute
  • You are potentially far from your child in the event that your child is sick or there is some kind of emergency or natural disaster
  • An unexpected delay can cause extra stress if you risk arriving late for pick-up

Child care near work pros and cons

Pros:

  • With child care near your work, you're together with your child for your commute (and can potentially utilize carpool lanes)
  • For some moms with child care near their work, they can visit to breastfeed their baby during the work day
  • In the event of a late-running meeting, a traffic blockage, or other unexpected delay, you're nearby your child and can collect them quickly

Cons:

  • Unless both parents work in the same area, child care near one parent's work saddles that one partner with every drop-off and pick-up
  • If you work in a downtown area, child care can be considerably more expensive
  • In-city child care facilities may not offer as much outdoor space or access to parks a as a neighborhood center

What are/were your deciding factors in choosing a day care for your kids? Add your thoughts to this list by leaving a comment, and good luck finding the right care for your precious little one!

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