Additionally, legislation typically defines what constitutes daycare (e.g., so as to not regulate individual babysitters). It may specify details of the physical facilities (washroom, eating, sleeping, lighting levels, etc.). The minimum window space may be such that it precludes day cares from being in a basement. It may specify the minimum floor space per child (for example 2.8 square metres) and the maximum number of children per room (for example 24). It may mandate minimum outdoor time (for example 2 hours for programs 6 hours or longer). Legislation may mandate qualifications of supervisors. Staff typically do not require any qualifications but staff under the age of eighteen may require supervision. Some legislation also establishes rating systems, the number and condition of various toys, and documents to be maintained.[68] Typically[citation needed], once children reach the age of twelve, they are no longer covered by daycare legislation and programs for older children may not be regulated.

The first crèche was opened by Firmin Marbeau on 14 November 1844 in Paris,[62] The Société des Crèches was recognized by the French government in 1869. Originating in Europe in the late 18th and early 19th century, day cares were established in the United States by private charities in the 1850s, such as the Charity Organization Society founded by Ansley Wilcox. The Fitch Creche in Buffalo, New York was known as the first day center for working mothers in the United States. Another at that time was the New York Day Nursery in 1854.
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The Child Care Resource Network works in cooperation with Early Learning Indiana and their Indiana Business Partnership Project to develop child care resource and referral programs for employers who recognize the relationship between quality child care arrangements and increased productivity, reduced turnover, reduced tardiness and absenteeism, raised morale and an enhanced corporate image.
All childcare workers must have, or be undertaking, the minimum "Certificate III in Children's Services" in order to work in a centre (Recognition of Prior Learning is available to help qualify staff with many years experience, but no qualifications). (Common more advanced qualifications are "Diploma of Children's Services" and an Early Childhood Education degree).

State legislation may regulate the number and ages of children allowed before the home is considered an official daycare program and subject to more stringent safety regulations. Often the nationally recognized Child Development Associate credential is the minimum standard for the individual leading this home care program.[citation needed] Each state has different regulations for teacher requirements. In some states, teachers must have an associate degree in child development. States with quality standards built into their licensing programs may have higher requirements for support staff such as teacher assistants. And in Head Start programs, by 2012, all lead teachers must have a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. States vary in the standards set for daycare providers, such as teacher to child ratios.

There are many things to consider when parents enroll a child into a care center or other form of paid childcare, and there is much controversy surrounding the potential benefits and harm caused by this type of care. The parental decisions of leaving a child with someone and who that someone will be are two of the most difficult decisions in the lives of most parents.[30] A parent must consider the safety and security of their children when making this decision. The development of a child has many factors, but it is most directly influenced by the type and quality of care that is most regularly provided to the child.
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The vast majority of childcare is still performed by the parents, in-house nanny or through informal arrangements with relatives, neighbors or friends. For example, in Canada, among two parent families with at least one working parent, 62% of parents handle the childcare themselves, 32% have other in-home care (nannies, relatives, neighbours or friends) and only 6.5% use a formal day care center.[64]
All childcare workers must have, or be undertaking, the minimum "Certificate III in Children's Services" in order to work in a centre (Recognition of Prior Learning is available to help qualify staff with many years experience, but no qualifications). (Common more advanced qualifications are "Diploma of Children's Services" and an Early Childhood Education degree).
The Department of Children and Families, Office of Child Care Regulation, has issued an Emergency Order to assist providers in reopening and relocating after Hurricane Michael. The Emergency Order allows the Department to waive certain child care standards. At a minimum all child care providers must have power and water to operate. The Emergency Order is limited to the following counties: Bay, Calhoun, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Liberty, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington. If you are a child care provider in an affected county, please contact your local licensing office to start the process of becoming operational.
NORTH ADAMS, MA (June 8, 2017) – Anne Nemetz-Carlson, President/CEO, announced that the MA Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) and Children’s Investment Fund has awarded to Child Care of the Berkshires a new grant of $1,000,000 to make improvements to the Haskins facility which houses the Monument Square Early Childhood Center and a variety of family support programs, including the Family Center, the Healthy Families Program, and the Parent Child Home Early Literacy Program.

Licensed or unlicensed home daycare is also referred to as family child care, or in home care. It refers to the care provided to a group of children in the home of a caregiver. State laws differ regarding rules for licensed versus unlicensed care. In Canada, most home daycares are unlicensed, and this is completely lawful. Licensing home daycares in Canada can help greatly with oversight, but at the cost of a large portion of the daycare provider's pay. Family child cares are small in size and provide families the same securities as a daycare center, and also has the benefits of flexible hours, lower costs, accessibility, and cultural compatibility. Home-based providers can give more individualized care and therefore better meet the needs of working families. In addition, family care generally has a small ratio of children in care, allowing for more interaction between child and provider than would be had at a commercial care center. Family child care helps foster emotionally secure interpersonal relationships for everyone involved. The providers are able to communicate each day with parents on a personal level and share information about the development of the child. Providers care for multi-aged groups of children allowing children to remain with one caregiver for many years which helps children develop a sense of trust and security. Multi-aged settings allow children to learn from one another and allow siblings to stay together. Some family child care providers may offer parents more flexibility with hours of operation such as evening, weekend, overnight, and before and after school care. In the United States, some family child care providers work with companies such as Wonderschool, for assistance in licensing, operations, marketing, and administrative support.[9]

Childcare varies dramatically across cultures. These discrepancies are attributed to the homestead and household environments. That is, the type of work performed by adult caretakers in a given community strongly influence the type of childcare used. In agricultural/ horticultural societies where work is done to provide sustenance for the community, siblings and similar-aged children are responsible for younger children.[2] While many global communities prefer children aged 7–10 for designated caregiving responsibilities, children no younger than 12 are preferred in the Western world where paid childcare is common.[23]
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