Be sure that the preschool or child care program you are looking into is operating according to the minimum requirements set by your local government. Some programs require licensing, while others may not. I know of a few amazing programs across the U.S. that are not licensed, but are still legal and would be wonderful options for families. It's important that parents do research, get referrals, look up ratings (if available), and truly find out what goes on inside of any program they have decided upon.

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The costs of child care are even more extreme for younger mothers. The average age when mother’s first give birth in the United States is 25.7 years, meaning that half of new mothers are under the age of 26 when they have their first child. Not surprisingly, younger mothers tend to have lower incomes: By virtue of their age, they have less job tenure and are more likely than older mothers to still be completing their education. But this means that mothers under age 25 with a young child who are paying for child care end up spending a staggering one-third—33 percent—of their income on care because they typically earn less. (see Table 1) It is critical that these women have the opportunity to finish their education and gain job experience, but child care expenses can make that a daunting prospect.
Access to child care is essential to a woman’s ability to participate in the workforce, and a lack of access to child care affects the work-family balance of both women and men. Women need to have the ability to make the choices that are best for them and their families in both the short and long term, and greater national investments in child care and preschool programs could help remove some of the constraints that may push mothers toward decisions that have negative economic consequences for them and their families down the road. It would make quality care more affordable for American families and support mothers’ employment.

State legislation may regulate the number and ages of children allowed before the home is considered an official daycare program and subject to more stringent safety regulations. Often the nationally recognized Child Development Associate credential is the minimum standard for the individual leading this home care program.[citation needed] Each state has different regulations for teacher requirements. In some states, teachers must have an associate degree in child development. States with quality standards built into their licensing programs may have higher requirements for support staff such as teacher assistants. And in Head Start programs, by 2012, all lead teachers must have a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. States vary in the standards set for daycare providers, such as teacher to child ratios.


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.


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.

Mt. Zion's programs are built around the needs of each child. Teacher to child ratios are low to provide for individual attention. Children daily experience planned activities and open-ended experiences for individual growth and development. Children explore their world through music, large motor play, sensory exploration, language, and small group events.
Licensed or unlicensed home daycare is also referred to as family child care, or in home care. It refers to the care provided to a group of children in the home of a caregiver. State laws differ regarding rules for licensed versus unlicensed care. In Canada, most home daycares are unlicensed, and this is completely lawful. Licensing home daycares in Canada can help greatly with oversight, but at the cost of a large portion of the daycare provider's pay. Family child cares are small in size and provide families the same securities as a daycare center, and also has the benefits of flexible hours, lower costs, accessibility, and cultural compatibility. Home-based providers can give more individualized care and therefore better meet the needs of working families. In addition, family care generally has a small ratio of children in care, allowing for more interaction between child and provider than would be had at a commercial care center. Family child care helps foster emotionally secure interpersonal relationships for everyone involved. The providers are able to communicate each day with parents on a personal level and share information about the development of the child. Providers care for multi-aged groups of children allowing children to remain with one caregiver for many years which helps children develop a sense of trust and security. Multi-aged settings allow children to learn from one another and allow siblings to stay together. Some family child care providers may offer parents more flexibility with hours of operation such as evening, weekend, overnight, and before and after school care. In the United States, some family child care providers work with companies such as Wonderschool, for assistance in licensing, operations, marketing, and administrative support.[9]
Located in north Boulder near 19th St. and Upland Ave in quiet and calm neighborhood, the preschool has abundant opportunities and space inside and outside to learn, play and grow. Our large, tree shaded yard is a magical place for children with play structures to boost gross motor skills, intimate areas for pretend play, friendly next door goats to interact with, a garden to dig in, bikes and trikes for exercise, and sand to boxes to build and dig in.

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). 
Independent studies suggest that good daycare is not harmful.[57] In some cases, good daycare can provide different experiences than parental care does, especially when children reach two and are ready to interact with other children. Children in higher quality childcare had somewhat better language and cognitive development during the first 4½ years of life than those in lower quality care.
All childcare workers must have, or be undertaking, the minimum "Certificate III in Children's Services" in order to work in a centre (Recognition of Prior Learning is available to help qualify staff with many years experience, but no qualifications). (Common more advanced qualifications are "Diploma of Children's Services" and an Early Childhood Education degree).

Annually, the Child Care Connection delivers over 1,000 training hours to parents, caregivers, and child care professionals. In 1995 the Early Childhood Institute for Professional Development was formed to offer a state-of-the-art educational program to individuals in the field. In the workplace, we deliver lunch-time seminars to help employees address work and family-related issues.


The organization cautions national averages are a blunt assessment on costs and note there are all sorts of variables that differentiate many child-care bills. In every region, however, child-care costs are roughly double the price of a year’s tuition to an in-state public university. Child-care costs for one infant and a four-year are cheapest in the South ($17,193 on average) and most expensive in the Northeast ($24,815).
Mt. Zion's programs are built around the needs of each child. Teacher to child ratios are low to provide for individual attention. Children daily experience planned activities and open-ended experiences for individual growth and development. Children explore their world through music, large motor play, sensory exploration, language, and small group events.
Child Care Connections is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as the only child care resource and referral agency in Gallatin, Park, Meagher, Broadwater, Jefferson, and Lewis and Clark Counties. Research demonstrates that consistent nurturing child care, with good parenting, helps children develop to their full potential. Child Care Connections supports families and the local economy by encouraging quality child care and safety.
Annually, the Child Care Connection delivers over 1,000 training hours to parents, caregivers, and child care professionals. In 1995 the Early Childhood Institute for Professional Development was formed to offer a state-of-the-art educational program to individuals in the field. In the workplace, we deliver lunch-time seminars to help employees address work and family-related issues.
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