Childcare involves caring for and supervision of a child or children, usually from age six weeks to age thirteen. Childcare requireslooking after children by a day-care center, babysitter, or other providers. Childcare is a broad topic covering a wide spectrum of contexts, activities, social and cultural conventions, and institutions.
The majority of childcare facilities require that childcare providers receive extensive training in first aid and are CPR certified. In addition, background checks, drug testing, and reference verification should be performed. Childcare can cost up to $15,000 per year in the United States. The average annual cost of full-time care for an infant in a center-based care facility ranges from under $5,000 in Mississippi to over $16,000 in the state of Massachusetts.
Approximately six out of every ten children age five and younger are being jointly cared for by parents and early childhood educators, relatives, or other child-care providers. Early childcare is a very important and often overlooked component of child development. Childcare providers are a child’s first teachers, who play an integral role in our systems of early childhood education. Quality care from a young age can have a huge impact on the future successes of children.
Traditionally, children are cared for by their parents or legal guardians. In families where children live with one or both of their parents, the childcare role may also be assumbed by the child’s extended family. If a parent or extended family member is unable to care for the children, orphanages and foster homes provide care, housing, and schooling for children.
The two main types of childcare options for employed parents are center-based care such as daycares and preschools, and home-based care providers such as nannies and family daycares. Parents may also choose to find their own private caregiver or arrange childcare exchanges with another family.
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