Licensed Child Care

What are the different forms of child care?


Family Child Care Home

“Family child care homes are known by many different names. Depending on where you live and the regulations in your state, you may see them called any the following names:

Licensed child care homes

Licensed group family child care homes

Legally exempt or license-exempt homes

Certified child care homes

Registered child care homes Family, friend, and neighbor care

In this type of child care arrangement, providers care for small groups of children in a residential building—a house, apartment, or condo unit. Depending on the regulations in your state, this may or may not be the same home that the provider lives in. A family child care home may be classified as large or small, depending on how many children are cared for. The number of infants and toddlers that can be cared for in a family child care home is often limited. Depending on the rules in your state, family child care providers may or may not be required to be licensed. Licensed providers are required to follow a set of basic health and safety requirements. Licensing agency staff visit family child care homes regularly to make sure they are meeting these health and safety requirements. These licensing inspections are an important safety check.”


Child Care Centers

“Child care centers are usually located in commercial buildings. Centers are larger and care for more children than family child care providers. They are usually divided into groups or classrooms of similarly aged children.

Child care centers typically have many staff members who are overseen by a director. They may be privately operated for profit by chains or individual owners, or operated by nonprofit agencies such as churches, public schools, and government agencies.

All states have regulations for licensed centers, but not all child care centers are licensed. The question of whether a child care center is required to be licensed or is license exempt depends on the requirements in your state. Licensed centers are required to follow a set of basic health and safety requirements, and they are monitored to make sure they are following the requirements.

Some examples of center-based programs that may not be required to be licensed include the following:

Early childhood programs operated by schools

School-age before-and afterschool programs

Summer camps Faith-based programs, including Parent’s Day Out programs

Part-time programs, including some nursery schools, preschools and prekindergarten programs”


Preschool Programs

“Preschool programs are usually for children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. They are often open only during the school year, for only part of the day. Many states offer free or low-cost prekindergarten programs that are also considered preschool programs. Many organizations offer preschool programs, including schools, places of worship, nonprofit organizations, and child care centers.

Depending on the rules in your state, these programs may or may not be required to be licensed. Licensed programs are required to follow a set of basic health and safety requirements, and they are monitored to make sure they are following the requirements.”


School-Age Child Care Options:

“Family Child Care Homes

Child Care Centers

Head Start and Early Head Start

Preschool Programs

School-Age Child Care Vacation and Summer

Child Care Programs Care in Your Own Home Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care

Ensuring Safe & Healthy Child Care Choosing Quality Child Care For Your Children Paying For Child Care Other Support and Resources for Your Family Your Child’s Health and Development children outside schoolThere are various options for before- and afterschool care for your school-age child (also known as out-of-school-time care). Child care centers and family child care homes may offer this type of care. Recreation centers, places of worship, and youth programs, including organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs, YMCA, and 21st Century Community Learning Centers may also offer before-and afterschool programs.

Additionally, in many communities, local schools provide afterschool care or hire another agency to provide onsite care before and after school. These programs are convenient for families since transportation is not an issue. Contact your child’s elementary school to find out whether an onsite program is available. Depending on the rules in your state, before- and afterschool care programs may or may not be required to be licensed. Licensing does not guarantee quality; however, it sets minimum standards and ensures that programs are monitored for compliance with these standards.”


Head Start Programs

“Head Start and Early Head Start programs are free, federally funded programs designed to promote school readiness for children from low-income families. Early Head Start serves pregnant women and families with children under age 3. Head Start programs serve children between 3 and 5 years old. These programs encourage parent involvement through regular visits to the child’s home, regular opportunities for parents to volunteer in the program, and special activities.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs also link children and families to other services in the community. Head Start programs are operated by local nonprofit organizations, community action agencies, and school districts. Children who attend these programs participate in various educational activities. They also receive some free medical and dental care services, have healthy meals and snacks, and enjoy playing indoors and outdoors in a safe setting.

Head Start programs help all participating children succeed. They are required to serve children with special needs, such as physical and developmental delays or homelessness.

Head Start and Early Head Start programs must follow many federal requirements.

Depending on the rules in your state, these programs may or may not be required to be licensed in addition to meeting federal requirements.”  https://www.childcare.gov/index.php/consumer-education/head-start-and-early-head-start

https://www.childcare.gov/index.php/consumer-education


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