Parents

Types of Child Care

Learn about the things you should consider for different types of child care.

Child Care Centers

These are most often free-standing sites, but are sometimes located within a church or community building. Centers provide care and educational experiences for children birth to age 12, however each center determines the age groups they serve. Typical hours: 10-12 hours a day, five days a week, year round.

Advantages

Considerations

  • staff trained in child development
  • planned age-appropriate activities that are often based on a particular philosophy or curriculum
  • variety of  age appropriate equipment 
  • greater dependability of care
  • school-like environment with classrooms designated per age group
  • consistent classroom rules and procedures
  • daily staff supervision and licensed by the state
  • location not always convenient
  • larger group size
  • little flexibility in hours/days of care—works well for parents who work weekdays between 6am and 6pm
  • may not provide care for all age groups
  • child cared for by more than one caregiver
  • generally more expensive
  • costs are typically fixed, some offer sliding fee scale

Family Child Care

This type of care is often located in a home, often with one adult caring for a small number of children. They provide care and educational experiences for children birth to age 12. Typical hours: 12 hours a day, five days a week, year round. May include weekend care and second or third shift.

Advantages

Considerations

  • home-like environment
  • child cared for by one provider
  • mixed age group and small group size
  • greater availability of programs located within neighborhoods
  • flexible schedules
  • usually less expensive type of care
  • more availability for infant care
  • providers offer diversity in values and styles
  • licensed or state-certified to offer care
  • provider experience varies
  • no daily supervision or  monitoring of provider
  • daily routines and program rules based upon provider preference and experience
  • relying on one person for care
  • age-appropriate supplies and equipment may be limited
  • costs may be negotiable

Preschools

This refers to programs that are often located within a church or existing school program. These programs are for children from ages 3 to 5. Typical hours: half day, full or part week and during the school year.

Advantages

Considerations

  • staff trained in child development
  • planned age-appropriate activities often based on a particular philosophy or curriculum focused on school readiness
  • variety of age appropriate equipment
  • lower cost
  • school-like environment
  • consistent classroom rules and procedures
  • daily staff supervision and oversight
  • licensed by the state to offer care
  • location not always convenient
  • larger group size
  • little flexibility in hours/days of care
  • provide care for preschoolers only
  • operate according to school calendar not parents work schedule
  • part day/part week programs
  • transportation typically not available
  • costs are typically fixed, some offer sliding fee scale

School-Age

School-age care is typically located in schools or recreation centers. These programs offer care and activities to school-age children during the school year (before and after school) and in the summer.

Advantages

Considerations

  • staff trained in child development
  • planned age-appropriate activities often based on a particular philosophy
  • variety of  age appropriate equipment
  • lower cost
  • consistent rules and procedures
  • daily staff supervision and oversight
  • care provided at the school or transportation to and from school available
  • licensed by the state to offer care
  • location not always convenient
  • larger group size
  • little flexibility in hours/days of care
  • may not provide care for all age groups
  • child cared for by more than one caregiver
  • operate according to school calendar not parents work schedule
  • may not include summertime care

Family, Friend and Neighbor

Family, friend and neighbor care is located in a home, often with one adult caring for a small number of children. These caregivers are acquainted with the families they serve. Ages of children and hours of care based upon agreements between the caregiver and parent.

Advantages

Considerations

  • home-like environment
  • small group size
  • familiarity between parent and caregiver
  • greater availability of programs located within neighborhoods
  • flexible schedules
  • usually less expensive type of care
  • more availability for infant care
  • caregivers offer diversity in values and styles
  • cost of care is negotiable
  • caregiver experience varies
  • care can be less stable—based upon caregiver schedule
  • relying on one person for care
  • lack of any oversight, not licensed or monitored by a state agency
  • locating care can be time consuming
  • daily routines and program rules based upon provider preference and experience
  • age-appropriate supplies and equipment may be limited

In-Home Care

In-home care is a private caregiver hired by the family to provide care in the home of the child.

Advantages

Considerations

  • convenient, no need to transport/transition child
  • reduced exposure to illness
  • allows for closer provider/child relationship
  • greater flexibility of hours
  • most expensive form of care
  • employer obligations including minimum wage, Social Security, Workers’ Comp and taxes
  • locating care can be time consuming
  • relying on one person for care
  • difficult to monitor
  • lack of group socialization and activities

Types of Child Care

Questions About Child Care?

Call us and speak with a 4C parent specialist for a free consultation!

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513-758-1330

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859-781-3511 x1330

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937-220-9660 x1330

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