Types of Child Care
Choosing a child care arrangement is a very personal decision for parents. It is one of the most important decisions a parent can make since the care children receive influences their future development.
There are three basic types of child care: child care centers, child care homes, and child care in your own home. This section describes these basic types and also outlines some additional child care programs that may be available in your community: before and after school care; vacation and summer programs; sick child/back-up/emergency care; part-day preschool programs and nursery schools; programs for children with special needs; and the Head Start Program.
Child Care Centers
A child care center provides care for groups of children by a staff of caregivers. The staff have some type of early childhood education training. Centers are generally licensed by the state. Centers are either privately operated for profit by a chain or individual, or operated by non-profit agencies, such as churches, public schools, government agencies, or non-profit vendors. (See the licensing section, and the directories of State and local agencies that can help you locate child care centers in your area.)
Child Care Homes
A child care home provides care for a small group of children in the caregiver's home. These homes are registered or licensed in most States. (See the licensing section, and the directories of State and local agencies that can help you locate child care homes in your area.)
Child Care in Your Own Home
This type of care takes place in your own home. The caregiver may be a baby-sitter, a professional "nanny" trained to care for young children, a student "au pair" who lives in your home, or another caregiver who has some experience with young children. Parents need to check references carefully. When using in-home care, you become an employer, which requires special considerations. As an employer, you are responsible for Federal Unemployment Insurance and Social Security taxes. In many States you must provide Workers' Compensation and State Unemployment Insurance.
Reprinted with the permission of the Office of Personnel Management.
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