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).
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.
The first crèche was opened by Firmin Marbeau on 14 November 1844 in Paris, 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.