Preschool education (Frühpädagogik) is increasingly seen as an integral part of education as a whole; several states such as Bavaria have released detailed educational plans for daycare carriers who claim state subsidies. "Early pedagogics" has increasingly moved into the academic domain, with an increasing number of staff being trained at universities of applied science (Fachhochschulen) and regular universities. Non-academic personnel in daycare facilities have usually attended specialized schools for several years. In the state of Bavaria for example, daycare assistants (Kinderpfleger) will have attended school for two years, daycare teachers (Erzieher) for three years with an additional two-year internship.
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At home, care is typically provided by nannies, au pairs, or friends and family. The child is watched inside their own home which could expose them to outside children and illnesses. Depending on the number of children in the home, the children utilizing in-home care could enjoy the greatest amount of interaction with their caregiver, in turn forming a close bond. There are no required licensing or background checks for in-home care, making parental vigilance essential in choosing an appropriate caregiver. Nanny and au pair services provide certified caregivers and the cost of in-home care is the highest of childcare options per child, though a household with many children may find this the most convenient and affordable option. Many nannies study towards childcare qualifications. This means they are trained to create a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy and thrive in. Typically, au pairs or nannies provide more than routine child care, often providing assistance with daily household activities which include running errands, shopping, doing laundry, fixing meals, and cleaning the house.
The day care industry is a continuum from personal parental care to large, regulated institutions. Some childminders care for children from several families at the same time, either in their own home (commonly known as "family day care" in Australia) or in a specialized child care facility. Some employers provide nursery provisions for their employees at or near the place of employment. For-profit day care corporations often exist where the market is sufficiently large or there are government subsidies. Research shows that not-for-profits are much more likely to produce the high quality environments in which children thrive." Local governments, often municipalities, may operate non-profit day care centers. For all providers, the largest expense is labor. Local legislation may regulate the operation of daycare centers, affecting staffing requirements. In Canada, the workforce is predominantly female (95%) and low paid, averaging only 60% of average workforce wage. Some jurisdictions require licensing or certification. Legislation may specify details of the physical facilities (washroom, eating, sleeping, lighting levels, etc.).
Spain provides paid maternity leave of 16 weeks with 30-50% of mothers returning to work (most full-time) after this, thus babies 4 months of age tend to be placed in daycare centers. Adult-infant ratios are about 1:7-8 first year and 1:16-18 second year. Public preschool education is provided for most children aged 3–5 years in "Infantil" schools which also provide primary school education.
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).
Licensing Staff inspect centers twice a year. Health and fire officials visit once a year. The center director is required to be educated or experienced in early care and education. All caregivers who work 500 hours or more a year are required to attend 16 hours of annual training. Center directors are required to attend 16 hours of annual training. Directors and caregivers are also required to have certification in Adult, Child and Infant CPR and First Aid.
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According to the 1995 U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), over thirty-six percent of families of preschoolers with working mothers primarily relied on childcare in the home of a relative, family daycare provider or other non-relative. Almost twenty-six percent of families used organized childcare facilities as their primary arrangement.
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In the United States, childcare in regulated commercial or family childcare home setting is administered or led by teachers who may have a Child Development Associate or higher credentials. These higher credentials include Associate, Bachelor, and even master's degrees in the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE). Although childcare professionals may obtain a degree, many states require that they attend workshops yearly to upgrade their knowledge and skill levels. Many day cares require a teacher to obtain a certain amount of training. For example, Texas requires a minimum of 25 hours a year, and the first year as a teacher, you are required to have 50 hours.
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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. 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.