We educate and support the adults who care for young children in Southwest Ohio, the Miami Valley and Kentucky.

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!

Southwest Ohio
513-758-1330

Northern Kentucky
859-781-3511 x1330

Miami Valley
937-220-9660 x1330

Toll-free
800-256-1296 x1330