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.
Finding and choosing the licensed child care, preschool or schoolage only setting that is right for your child and family can be challenging. Great Start to Quality makes your search for licensed child care, preschool and schoolage only programs easier, gives you tips to make an informed decision and the confidence of knowing you chose the care in your area that best suits your family’s needs.
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.
Professional caregivers work within the context of a center-based care (including creches, daycare, preschools and schools) or a home-based care (nannies or family daycare). The majority of child care institutions that are available require that child care providers to have extensive training in first aid and be CPR certified. In addition, background checks, drug testing at all centers, and reference verification are normally a requirement. Child care can consist of advanced learning environments that include early childhood education or elementary education. “The objective of the program of daily activities should be to foster incremental developmental progress in a healthy and safe environment and should be flexible to capture the interests of the children and the individual abilities of the children.”  In many cases the appropriate child care provider is a teacher or personal with educational background in child development, which requires a more focused training aside from the common core skills typical of a child caregiver.
In almost half of all states, the cost of child care exceeds the average rent payment, meaning that too many families with young children end up struggling to make ends meet. In 2011, the latest year for which data are available, the average family with a working mother and a child under age 5 that made child care payments spent nearly 10 percent of its total family income on child care. While that may not sound like an overwhelming burden, it ends up amounting to nearly a quarter—22.5 percent—of married mothers’ earnings, and more than a quarter—26.1 percent—of never-married mothers’ incomes. (see Table 1)
Some companies have improved their child-care policies. Earlier this month, Starbucks SBUX, +2.77% said it would offer 10 subsidized back-up child care days annually to workers, meant to help staffers who find themselves in a jam when care arrangements fall apart. The company is teaming up with Care.com so that workers can pay a dollar an hour for backup care, or $5 for a day’s stay at in-center child care.