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]
Unlicensed and unregistered child day care programs do not have any of the following requirements: background checks, training/orientation, or health and safety requirements; and only minimal Code of Virginia requirements. Unlicensed centers must meet an exemption in the Code of Virginia in § 63.2-1715. Unlicensed family day homes must follow requirements in §§ 63.2-1727 and 63.2-1704.1 of the Code. VDSS does not inspect these programs.
In Germany, preschool education is the domain of the Kindertagesstätte (literally "children's day site", often shortened to Kita or KITA), which is usually divided into the Kinderkrippe (crèche) for toddlers (age up to 3 years), and the Kindergarten for children who are older than three years and before school. Children in their last Kindergarten year may be grouped into a Vorschule ("preschool") and given special pedagogic attention; special preschool institutions comparable to the US-American kindergarten are the exception.
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Whether at an expensive facility or relatively inexpensive, children who attend daycare facilities tend to develop social skills more quickly than children of the same age group that are reared at home. They communicate better with children of the same age and often try harder to communicate with those that are younger than them, by using patience and taking different approaches at presenting the data.[32] Surprisingly, a study done by Erik Dearing, has proven that negative social behavioral patterns are not directly connected to daycare. By studying a large selection of children from the Norwegian childcare system he concluded that the number of hours a child spends at a daycare and their behavior have no dependent relations.[33] Though in America, children who attend childcare systems have a higher risk of externalizing the symptoms of negative social behavior, exhibiting these traits can directly correlate with their time spent in the center.[34]
Some companies have improved their child-care policies. Earlier this month, Starbucks SBUX, +2.77%  said it would offer 10 subsidized back-up child care days annually to workers, meant to help staffers who find themselves in a jam when care arrangements fall apart. The company is teaming up with Care.com so that workers can pay a dollar an hour for backup care, or $5 for a day’s stay at in-center child care.

The majority of parents now work, regardless of the age of their children. Parents are workers and workers are parents, both out of necessity and preference: 70.5 percent of mothers are in the labor force, including 64.8 percent of mothers with a child under the age of 6. That’s in large part because many families in today’s economy rely on two incomes in order to pay the bills. In fact, the only married-couple families that have seen real income growth over the past 30 years are families where both parents work.


Most families currently have three options for securing child care. First, parents can stay at home and care for their children themselves. But this is increasingly difficult, as most families now rely on two breadwinners to stay above water. Moreover, mothers are more likely than fathers to take time away from paid work to care for a child, which can exacerbate mothers’ lifetime earnings gap. Second, parents can pay for child care out of pocket. But this approach is very costly for families, eating up 35.9 percent of a low-income family’s monthly budget. The third option for families is to use federal- or state-funded child care, but access to any publicly funded program, let alone a high-quality program, is very limited. Nationwide, nearly three in four children are not enrolled in a federal or state-funded pre-K program.
Each of the NIH sponsored child care centers provides high quality child care, based on current early childhood best practices.  However, each program has its own unique program characteristics and dynamics.  Below is a link to a side-by-side comparison chart of the Maryland centers.  As a parent, it is up to you to research each center to determine which center would be a good fit for your family.  You can obtain additional information by contacting the programs directly to request a tour.

You’ve found the most comprehensive collection of information about childcare centers in the U.S, with 122,016 licensed childcare centers and 121,278 home daycare providers. Selecting a childcare center for our children is one of the most important decisions we make as parents. It’s important to choose a preschool or home daycare to which children love to go and where safety is of the utmost concern. Please use the Quick Search box on this page to find the perfect child care solution for your family!
^ Schönpflug, Karin, Feminism, Economics and Utopia: Time Travelling Through Paradigms (Oxon/London: Routledge, 2008 (ISBN 978-0-415-41784-6)), pp. 159–160 (author economist, Austrian Ministry of Finance, & lecturer, Univ. of Vienna), citing Rohrlich, R. & Elaine Hoffman Baruch, Women in Search of Utopia: Mavericks and Mythmakers (N.Y.: Schocken Books, 1984), and Plato, The Republic (ca. 394 B.C.).
The children caregivers in many communities are deemed responsible to care for those younger than them and it is expected that they will do so. Adults are viewed as occasional supervisors of the caregiving while the caregivers are responsible for responding to the needs of each child. These young caregivers take pride in their responsibility and learn each child’s individual likes, dislikes, and habits.[23]
Learning Stories [58] are documents that are used by caregivers and educators in childcare settings. They use a storytelling format instead of a traditional ‘observation’ report to document the different ways that young children learn, and capture the moment in greater detail and provide parents with a greater insight into the events that occur in their child’s time in childcare.
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