Child care refers to the service that is provided to a child. Moreover, it is the service provided in the absence of parents, for less than 24 hours. Thus, it includes comprehensive child care measures and special care for all children. However, child care can also mean supervision and guidance of a child for a definite time with or without any compensation. Child care is available in different forms.
- Family child care homes:
They can be large or small. However, their strength depends on the number of children taken care of. They can consist of a number of toddlers and infants. This type of childcare includes extensive care of every child under a residential roof, a house, an apartment, etc. They might not be licensed. As a matter of fact licensed ones should follow a basic set of rules and regulations.
- Children care centres:
They are establishments which are set up in commercial buildings. Therefore larger no of children can be accommodated here. They are divided into classrooms based on age-group. Each and every class has a supervisor. Moreover, the director looks after all the matters like administration, child health. They can also be licensed, following guidelines provided by the state.
These are a part of the initiative to enhance childcare for children in the age group of 3-5 years of age. They can be open at the day time. States also take initiatives to offer low cost prekindergarten program, preschool programs.
- School age child care:
This is also known as out-of-school childcare. They are provided by schools or specialized agencies for providing onsite care before and after school. It is beneficial, as means of transportation doesn’t matter. They may or may not be licensed
Other miscellaneous types:
- Vacation and summer child care:
These are mainly for school aged children. As a matter of fact, they provide several activities like arts, crafts, swimming, drama, and sports. In addition to primary schools, recreation departments, community organizations provide them. These may or may not be licensed. This can help a family supervising a child, to care for school-aged children during vacation.
- Home care:
This involves the presence of an individual hired in his own household to look after his child. Therefore the tenure might be part-time or full-time. However, families selecting home as an option are also given subsidies by the government and other private agencies to nurture his/her child.
- Care of friends and neighbor:
A child can seek residence in the house of his relatives, neighbors, and friends. Their peers turn out/ emerge as their caretakers. However, a major drawback is they are exclusively exempted from licensing.
Ways to choose a child care program:
- Select on the basis of convenience.
- Keep the budget in mind.
- Ensure a safe, healthy, and high quality program
- Keep quality of the program, a priority for children below 5. Because it is a good time for development of attitude and skill of a child.