I think not.
I went to check out a home-based daycare that one of my colleagues uses just because I was curious, and I was...underwhelmed. The woman who runs it seemed perfectly nice, capable (I guess), but I find myself thinking that I just prefer a daycare center instead. It just feels so much more secure and, well, predictable. For both of us. She watches up to five kids by herself, and the kids are a wide range of ages. Three big dogs. Two cats. One bird. Sure, she's accredited and insured. She's been running her daycare for five years now. But as I looked around her house, a little voice in the back of my head just kept whispering, "But anything could happen here--this is someone's home, not an established center with lots of staff members around all the time." Perhaps choosing a home-based daycare is a matter of one's gut instinct...not sure. And my gut instinct is telling me "No." (Oh, by the way, the reason I decided to check it out is because our daycare center is definitely one of the more expensive daycare places in town. And I feel that if I can find someplace comparable, I really should be socking more money away in savings, if possible.) For now, I think we'll stay put. But maybe still keep feelers out anyway. Oh, and something else: our daycare center does not require me to pay over the summer, just a $95 application fee to hold K's spot. This place, like many other home-based centers I'm sure, asks for $300 per month over the summer to hold her spot, half of the regular monthly fee. I'd be paying $750 this summer for...nothing. And right now I'm paying roughly $120 more per month than this home-based daycare, which will go down by $40 per month each year K is enrolled. But it's like they always say, you get what you pay for. And in addition to a whole lot of other advantages, I think I'm getting a whole lot more peace of mind, to say the very least.