Only about 22 percent of children in low-income families currently receive federally subsidized child care, and while preschool enrollment has increased nationwide in recent years, the lowest-income children are the least likely to participate in preschool programs. Twenty-eight percent of 4-year-olds were enrolled in state-funded pre-K programs, and only 4 percent of 3-year-olds were similarly enrolled. Forty percent are not enrolled in any pre-K program at all. Clearly, the publicly funded services that are available are lacking, insufficient, or both.

Childcare varies dramatically across cultures. These discrepancies are attributed to the homestead and household environments. That is, the type of work performed by adult caretakers in a given community strongly influence the type of childcare used. In agricultural/ horticultural societies where work is done to provide sustenance for the community, siblings and similar-aged children are responsible for younger children.[2] While many global communities prefer children aged 7–10 for designated caregiving responsibilities, children no younger than 12 are preferred in the Western world where paid childcare is common.[23]
In this more informal type of care, a parent or legal guardian selects an individual- often a family member, friend, or neighbor to care for all the children in one family or up to 2 unrelated children. Legally Certified Providers must pass Montana and FBI criminal background checks and Child Protective Services background checks but are not otherwise regulated or monitored by the State of Montana.
Unlicensed and unregistered child day care programs do not have any of the following requirements: background checks, training/orientation, or health and safety requirements; and only minimal Code of Virginia requirements. Unlicensed centers must meet an exemption in the Code of Virginia in § 63.2-1715. Unlicensed family day homes must follow requirements in §§ 63.2-1727 and 63.2-1704.1 of the Code. VDSS does not inspect these programs.
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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).
Children that receive informal care do not receive the same educational and preparatory regimens as those in a center- or home-based center often do. Instead, learning occurs informally as a direct result of the caretaker and charge's interactions. Learning and development occur differently for every individual. Different periods of a child's growth are known to affect the care taking styles associated with them, from the care of an infant to that of an older adolescent. Other influences on care taking include the expectations of the three parties involved- the parents, caretakers, and children.[2]
Spain provides paid maternity leave of 16 weeks with 30-50% of mothers returning to work (most full-time) after this[citation needed], thus babies 4 months of age tend to be placed in daycare centers. Adult-infant ratios are about 1:7-8 first year and 1:16-18 second year.[citation needed] Public preschool education is provided for most children aged 3–5 years in "Infantil" schools which also provide primary school education.[citation needed]
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