Fifty years ago suggesting that one parent stay at home and forgo paid employment to provide child care would have made plenty of sense both culturally and economically. This was largely because families could live comfortably on one breadwinner’s income and also because women had traditionally been relegated to the domestic sphere. But in the past 40 years, due to both social advances and economic changes, American families have undergone a dramatic change. Leaving the workforce to provide care today, even temporarily, carries real risks.
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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.
Parent-Child Home Program celebrated 14 families graduating from their 2-year program on May 25, at The Green, 85 Main St., North Adams. Families enjoyed pizza and cupcakes, a short circle time, and parachute play with their home visitors, as they said good-bye. The Parent-Child Home Program is a brain building program for 18 month old – 2 1/2 year old children and their caregivers. Families receive fun books, toys, and lots of ideas to help their children get ready to succeed in school. For more information call the coordinator, Karen Rowe, 663-6593 x. 27.
Childcare is primarily funded by parents, however the Single Funding Formula (pre-school funding) can be used at some day nurseries, playgroups and schools for a maximum of 5 sessions per week, after a child reaches 3 years. The government introduced a childcare allowance (vouchers) by which employers could make payments for childcare, prior to tax, on employees' wages.
New Horizons Cooperative Preschool offers a half-day, play-based, bilingual preschool program for children aged 2.5 to 7 years old. Founded in 1968, our goal is to bring together families and children who are traditionally separated by ethnicity, class, race, and culture. For 50 years, New Horizons has continued to operate as a collaborative effort of parents, teachers, and community members to foster diversity and to educate one another.
An important aspect that many center based child cares have been trying to implement into their mission statement and everyday routine has been of being aware of the multiple cultures they will be dealing with. This was seen as being important because of the growing numbers of families considering and seeking childcare. Childcare has become an important aspect of society since, “Over thirteen million American children under 5 years of age experience some form of child care before entering formal school.” Programs must understand similarities and differences between cultures/ ethnic groups. This must be done to understand the overall diversity of the community. Children should be able to have their cultural practices represented as well as be able to learn about other cultures they have not been exposed to. This is of great importance because it adds to their mental development and their understanding of the world.
In Mexico, President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa created a Social Program named "Programa de Estancias Infantiles" that included more than 8,000 daycare spaces for children between 1 and 3.11 years old. This program subsidizes mothers that work and study and also single fathers in a vulnerable situation. It has a great success having more than 125,000 children over the country. This is regulated by the Social Development Minister (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social).
In a childcare center, teachers focus on the physical and mental developments of their students. In order to have a greater understanding of the student, teachers in centers must incorporate a relationship with their students that benefits their wants and needs while pushing them toward a higher set of values. This type of teaching with a caring relationship will improve a student's moral and incidental learning.