What is a Family Child Care Home and What are the Potential Advantages of this Type of Early Childhood Education?
An in-home preschool is an early childhood education program that is operated out of the preschool owner’s home. The preschool must be licensed by the state and abide by all regulations related to family child care home facilities. Licensing specialists provide in-home inspections on a yearly basis and all early childhood educators must participate in continuing education hours in order to meet licensing regulations. In-home preschools may have employees in addition to the owner/director, and all employees must participate in a full background check and fingerprinting process to be eligible for employment.
It is important that parents weigh the advantages and disadvantages of attending an in-home preschool. There are many benefits to attending a family child care home; however, it is important to understand the specific needs of your child. Parents should also assess their expectations for their child’s early educational experience. Is your primary reason for sending your child to preschool to socialize them and for them to be exposed to large groups of children? If so, an in-home preschool may not be the right choice for your family; however, if your primary goal is for your child to learn social-emotional skills in a small classroom environment while interacting with children of different ages, a family child care home may be the right choice for your family. The following are some advantages of attending an in-home preschool:
- a home-like environment that is comfortable and familiar to the child
- a close child-teacher bond as the teacher works very closely with the child
- fewer cases of illnesses due to exposure to less children
- a highly educated caregiver with many years experience working with children
- more opportunities for learning experiences outside the classroom such as field trips
- a more individualized approach to education
- more time spent observing and assessing student needs, implementing educational plans, and evaluating teaching methods
- opportunities for enrichment activities
- a detailed evaluation of your child’s specific learning needs and progress at school
Selecting a high-quality preschool program for your child is essential as research has shown that the positive and negative effects of early childhood education can be long-lasting. Children who attend poor quality early childhood educational programs tend to have issues with self-regulation and self-direction, while high-quality programs tend so see an increase in success starting in kindergarten and beyond. Because every family has it’s own individual needs, it is important to research both types of early childhood education programs. The key components of a high-quality preschool program include a state-licensed program, low student-teacher ratios, a developmentally appropriate curriculum, and highly educated and experienced caregivers that will be invested in your child’s success.