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18 Nov 2020 by Hatchlings Early Learning Centre

Types of Childcare Services

Before you start your own daycare, it is important to

understand the meaning of childcare and the different types of childcare

services available in the market. In general, childcare is the care of a child

by a person outside the child's immediate family.

Childcare needs are met in many ways but generally fall into

these three categories: Care in the child's home; care in a regulated childcare

center; and care in the provider's home.

Care in a regulated childcare center

Regulated childcare (or daycare) centers are institutions

that are bound to strict rules or legislations mandated by a government body.

These rules or legislations exist to protect the safety and welfare of the

children enrolled in these centers. Rules in relation to security, area per

child, health, staff to children ratios (e.g. 1 teacher per 3 children), food

handling, behavior management, and programming are just a few of the areas that

a regulated daycare must adhere to. Without adherence to these rules, daycare

centers will not receive a license to operate the childcare business. In

addition, rules vary for each state or province. Therefore, it is important to

refer to your state's or province's childcare government body responsible for

licensing requirements.

Licensed childcare centers are also required to run

structured programming for the children. A structured program consists of

age-appropriate activities that develop the child's skills. In general, the

selection of age-appropriate activities follows the center's learning

philosophy such as Montessori, Reggio Emilia, Waldorf, etc. However, regardless

of which learning philosophy the center adapts, age-appropriate learning

activities are meant to develop the child's cognitive, gross-motor, fine-motor

and other types of skills, with the goal of achieving specific developmental


Licensed childcare

centers can be located in office buildings, commercial retail pads,

stand-alone buildings, houses or in schools. In most cases, they operate

between 7AM to 6PM and may employ several teachers to run the program.

Care in the Provider's Home

Care in the provider's home are generally called Home

Daycare, Family Daycare, or Day Home. A home daycare can be licensed or

unlicensed. In general, licensing is required if the number of children cared

for in the provider's home grows to more than the maximum specified by law. For

instance, in some areas, you can only care for up to 5 children (including your

own children) without a license. Anything over that, you must get a license to

operate the childcare business. Home daycare licensing requirements also vary

for each state or province. Again, refer to your state or provincial government

body responsible for childcare licensing.

Care in the Child's Home

Childcare in

the child's home is typically provided by babysitters or nannies. Babysitting

is the occasional temporary care of a child during the absence of the parent.

Babysitters, in general, can work for more than one family and are often called

upon during emergencies (e.g. parent has to attend an emergency meeting for a

few hours).

In contrast, a nanny typically just works for one family and

has a fixed schedule. They can be classified as live-in nannies or live-out

nannies. Live-in nannies will live in the child's home, while live-out nannies

do not.

Unlike regulated childcare centers or licensed home daycare

centers, babysitters or nannies do not usually provide any form of structured