The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recognizes the important role high quality, affordable and accessible child care plays in the lives of NIH employees.  Each of the NIH sponsored child care centers are separate private businesses, operated by parent boards.  Each center provides a unique learning experience and is held to the highest standards of quality.  The NIH Child Care Program has set up a system to ensure the centers consistently provide care which follows Maryland Child Care Licensing Standards, as well as maintaining accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). 
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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