Parents spend a significant amount of time raising their children. These parents nurture and develop their children into being functional members of society. This hard work is not motivated by monetary gain. For centuries it has been assumed that women will stay home and take care of the children while their husbands go out and work. In most cases, the husbands get all the credit for providing for the family. However, the wife who is the homemaker, deserves just as much credit for her care work. Caregivers do not receive monetary compensation and they must pay a ‘care-penalty.
Child care, or otherwise known as daycare, is the care and supervision of a child or multiple children at a time, whose age ranges from six weeks to thirteen years. Child care is the action or skill of looking after children by a day-care center, nannies, babysitter, teachers or other providers. Child care is a broad topic that covers a wide spectrum of professionals, institutions, contexts, activities, social and cultural conventions. Early child care is an equally important and often overlooked component of child development. Child care providers can be children's first teachers, and therefore play an integral role in systems of early childhood education. Quality care from a young age can have a substantial impact on the future successes of children. The main focus of childcare is on the development of the child, whether that be mental, social, or psychological.
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.
You don't always get what you pay for, and in this instance, it's a good thing. Quality programs can be very affordable, so I wouldn't brush off a program based solely on price. There are even free programs available which offer children amazing opportunities and resources. You don't have to break the bank to find a great program, so definitely do your homework.
There are many things to consider when parents enroll a child into a care center or other form of paid childcare, and there is much controversy surrounding the potential benefits and harm caused by this type of care. The parental decisions of leaving a child with someone and who that someone will be are two of the most difficult decisions in the lives of most parents. A parent must consider the safety and security of their children when making this decision. The development of a child has many factors, but it is most directly influenced by the type and quality of care that is most regularly provided to the child.
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.
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.
Franchising of family child care home facilities attempts to bring economies of scale to home daycare. A central operator handles marketing, administration and perhaps some central purchasing while the actual care occurs in individual homes. The central operator may provide training to the individual care providers. Some providers even offer enrichment programs to take the daycare experience to a more educational and professional level. An example would be Wonderschool, which provides caregivers with a proprietary technology platform, as well as licensing, marketing, and administrative services.
The story becomes even bleaker for mothers who are living below the poverty line. As Table 1 shows, 26 percent of working mothers in poverty pay for child care out of pocket, and those expenses eat up nearly half—42.6 percent—of their monthly wages. It is vital that these women have work support, since they are more likely to be single parents and since seeking paid employment is required to have access to certain governmental benefits. Employment is also an important pathway into the middle class, but when child care is as expensive as it is, it places a disproportionate burden on the mothers who can least afford it.
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. 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. 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.
In Denmark day-cares accept children ranging from 6 months old to 3 years old. 91.2% of 1-2 year old children are enrolled in different types of day-care institutions. Most of these are managed by a municipality and mostly government funded. The different types of institutions ranges from separate day-care institutions (Vuggestue), kindergartens with a day-care department (Integrerede institutioner) and in-home day-care (Dagpleje).
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.