The service is known as day care or childcare in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia and as crèche in Ireland and New Zealand. According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, child care in two words can in addition have the broader meaning of the care of a child by anyone, including the parents, but US dictionaries do not record that spelling or meaning. In English-speaking and other conservative countries, the vast majority of childcare is still performed by the parents, in-house nannies or through informal arrangements with relatives, neighbors or friends, but most children are in daycare centers for most of the day in Nordic Countries, for example. Child care in the child's own home is traditionally provided by a nanny or au pair, or by extended family members including grandparents, aunts and uncles. Child care is provided in nurseries or crèches or by a nanny or family child care provider caring for children in their own homes. It can also take on a more formal structure, with education, child development, discipline and even preschool education falling into the fold of services.
Child Care- Group Time Activities
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Parents are typically the legal owners of the non-profit day care and will routinely provide consulting services in areas in which they are professionally qualified (for example accounting, legal advice, or human resources) for free. (There are some non-profits not operated by parents, but by a board of directors made up of community representatives who want what is good for the children.)
State legislation may regulate the number and ages of children allowed before the home is considered an official daycare program and subject to more stringent safety regulations. Often the nationally recognized Child Development Associate credential is the minimum standard for the individual leading this home care program. Each state has different regulations for teacher requirements. In some states, teachers must have an associate degree in child development. States with quality standards built into their licensing programs may have higher requirements for support staff such as teacher assistants. And in Head Start programs, by 2012, all lead teachers must have a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. States vary in the standards set for daycare providers, such as teacher to child ratios.
Benefits and union membership. Employee benefits in child day care services often are minimal. A substantial number of child day care centers offer no healthcare benefits to any teaching staff. Reduced day care fees for workers' children, however, are a common benefit. Wage levels and employee benefits depend in part on the type of center. Nonprofit and religiously affiliated centers generally pay higher wages and offer more generous benefits than do for-profit establishments.
State governments also have established requirements for workers who provide services associated with child care—those involved in food preparation, the transportation of children, the provision of medical services, and other services. Most States have defined minimum ratios of the number of staff-to-children, which vary both by State and the age of the children involved.
Summer Child Care
Individuals are prohibited from smoking in all facilities required to be licensed or registered for child care services. As of November 18, 2018, this includes private homes. Smoking, vaping and electronic cigarette use is prohibited at all times, even outside operating hours, in rooms where child care is provided in Family Day Care and Group Family Day Care homes.
There are many things to consider when parents enroll a child into a care center or other form of paid childcare, and there is much controversy surrounding the potential benefits and harm caused by this type of care. The parental decisions of leaving a child with someone and who that someone will be are two of the most difficult decisions in the lives of most parents. A parent must consider the safety and security of their children when making this decision. The development of a child has many factors, but it is most directly influenced by the type and quality of care that is most regularly provided to the child.
Note: Some programs offering child day care obtain a general business license to operate from the county within which they do business; however, that license is not the same as a child day care license obtained from the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS), which holds the child day care provider accountable to the health and safety standards set forth by the Commonwealth of Virginia.