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.
There is a great deal of empirical evidence that shows how higher child care costs have a negative impact on mothers’ employment. Mothers are more likely to leave employment and less likely to start new jobs when the costs of child care are high. It is also difficult for parents to keep their jobs when they do not have access to consistent quality child care. A study conducted by Jeffrey D. Lyons in North Carolina found that about one in four families who were on a waitlist for child care assistance either lost or had to quit their jobs while they waited for an opening.
The fact that women are more likely to take time out of the workforce to provide unpaid care for their children is part of the reason why there is a persistent gender wage gap in this country—10.5 percent of the differences in men’s and women’s earnings can be attributed to labor-force experience. When women work less, they pay less into Social Security over a shorter period of time, which is one of the reasons why retired women are more likely to live in poverty than retired men.
More specifically, further research indicates that children being cared for by siblings or similarly-aged children (a trend more commonly seen in agriculturally-based cultural communities) have certain psychological and developmental effects on those being cared for. These effects include but are not limited to: mother-child attachment, emergence of childhood developmental stages, formation of playgroups, development of social responsibility, sex differences, personality differences, cognition, and motivation and performance in the classroom.
More contemporary proposals for government advancement of day care in the United States have experienced a checkered path, for example, in 1971, the Comprehensive Child Development Act was passed by Congress, but was vetoed by Richard Nixon. It "would have created nationally funded child care centers providing early childhood services and after-school care, as well as nutrition, counseling, and even medical and dental care. The centers would charge parents on a sliding scale." Various proposals have been considered, but to date, none leading to legislation that would establish a national policy supporting day care in the United States.