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We shouldn’t forget that affordable high-quality child care is also essential to parents’ abilities to balance work success with family responsibilities—a goal that every parent deserves to easily achieve. President Obama’s preschool and child care plan will strengthen families and make them more economically secure while also reducing inequality and improving educational achievement in this country.
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.
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).
Looking for child care? Parents can receive free referrals and information about child care programs from their local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency or online at www.excelerateillinois.com. Referrals to all types of child care providers - licensed centers, family child care homes, and group child care homes as well as license exempt centers and homes are available. Information on quality of care, State licensing and the Illinois ExceleRate system are also available.
A final option for accessing child care is utilizing programs funded or subsidized by states and the federal government. Unfortunately, while it may seem as though this must be a viable option for families who do not want to lose a co-breadwinner’s earnings or for those who can’t afford private care, the United States still has a long way to go on this front.
We at ChildcareCenter strive daily to keep our listings accurate and up-to-date, and to provide top-level, practical information that you can use and trust. However, ChildcareCenter.us does not endorse or recommend any of the childcare providers listed on its site, cannot be held responsible or liable in any way for your dealings with them, and does not guarantee the accuracy of listings on its site. We provide this site as a directory to assist you in locating childcare providers in your area. We do not own or operate any child care facility, and make no representation of any of the listings contained within ChildcareCenter.us.
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.[30] 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.
Studies have been done to get an annual salary estimate for a female caregiver. One survey suggested that the value of a mother's work, if she were paid the average wage for each task she performs in running the household and caring for her children, is $117,867 per year.[42] The reason for the high salary is because mothers typically perform about 10 different job functions throughout the week. Some of these job functions are poorly paid, including cleaning, driving, caring for children, and washing laundry, but others, especially financial and managerial tasks that the survey equated with being the Chief Executive Officer of a company, are highly paid. Neither a nanny nor a housekeeper makes nearly as much money, and almost all of these tasks except direct child care also have to be done by non-parents. The value of unpaid childcare is also an important figure in various legal entities. Expert witnesses (most often economists) are occasionally brought into court cases to give estimates on the value of unpaid labor. By giving estimation, the plaintiff or defendant can be fairly compensated for their labor.
The majority of parents now work, regardless of the age of their children. Parents are workers and workers are parents, both out of necessity and preference: 70.5 percent of mothers are in the labor force, including 64.8 percent of mothers with a child under the age of 6. That’s in large part because many families in today’s economy rely on two incomes in order to pay the bills. In fact, the only married-couple families that have seen real income growth over the past 30 years are families where both parents work. 
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