The benefits of high-quality pre-K and child care are enormous. It is an essential way to close the achievement gap between children of different economic backgrounds and prepare them for kindergarten, primary school, and beyond. Decades of research have also shown that investing in our children at an early age pays social, educational, and economic dividends over the course of a child’s lifetime. Children deserve access to affordable high-quality education that promotes school readiness, regardless of their family situation.
According to Chris Knight, the first humans were few; then the population "exploded .... Population expansion on such a scale is inconsistent with female tolerance of infanticide, harassment, or the heavy costs to mothers of male philandering and double standards. If unusually large numbers of unusually large-brained offspring were being successfully raised to maturity, the quality of childcare must have been exceptional. We know what the optimal solution would have been. There can be no doubt that mothers would have done best by ... taking advantage of every available childcare resource."[45]
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.

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"Nearly every Saturday of the 2013 and 2014 ski season, our son went to Treasures. He was so excited about it each week! We loved the attentive care, open and clean space and the healthy food. They let him nap when he needed to and there was always a number of activities for him to choose from. He even got to try out skis on a few occasions. We're sad that he won't be there this season, since he'll ... be over 3. We highly recommend Treasures to everyone and it's the main reason that we chose Smuggs."

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The quality of the center based child care can be very influential on the child and on their overall development. Recent study showed that children in low end classrooms saw the activities as forced while the children in high end classrooms had more memorable experiences.[12] Even though this being the case between high and low end classrooms, other aspects such as the child's background and living situation can play an important role in their development.[13] Active children may thrive in the educational activities provided by a quality commercial care center, but according to the National Center for Early Development and Learning, children from low quality centers may be significantly less advanced in terms of vocabulary and reading skills.[14] Classes are usually largest in this type of care, ratios of children to adult caregivers will vary according to state licensing requirements. Some positive aspects of commercial care are that children may gain a sense of independence, academic achievement, and socialization.[15] Not only is this age crucial for the improvement of their social skills, but also it begins the stages of understanding a classroom setting. Childcare is seen as a reasonable option because it is different than parenting, since it can be seen as more of a routine for the child.[11] This in turn will only have a negative impact on the child if the parent is not their for the emotional needs of the child.[11] Children are placed into centers of socialization and learn many similarities and differences from one another from a very young age.[11] Children are also placed into settings to develop their linguistics and cognitive abilities, which can be measured through observations.[16] Not only is this age crucial for the improvement of their social skills, but also it begins the stages of understanding a classroom setting. These early ages of the child's life are crucial or it would otherwise have a negative impact on their future paths.[12]
However, for-profit day care corporations often exist where the market is sufficiently large or there are government subsidies. For instance, in North America, KinderCare Learning Centers, one of the largest of such companies, has approximately 1,600 centers located in 39 states and the District of Columbia.[65] Bright Horizons Family Solutions another of the largest has over 600 daycare centers.[66] Similarly the Australian government's childcare subsidy has allowed the creation of a large private-sector industry in that country.[67]
Learning Stories [58] are documents that are used by caregivers and educators in childcare settings. They use a storytelling format instead of a traditional ‘observation’ report to document the different ways that young children learn, and capture the moment in greater detail and provide parents with a greater insight into the events that occur in their child’s time in childcare.
As you seek to make one of the most important decisions you will ever make, review the Choosing Quality Child Care brochure to gain insight in selecting child care that can promote healthy social, emotional, physical and intellectual development for your child. In addition, you are also encouraged to take time to explore the Learn About Child Day Care chart which explains the various types of child care available in Virginia and how they are regulated.
Remember, though, whether you get a list from our web site or from the CCRR, this list is just a starting point - you will need to contact the provider to see if they have space for your child and you will want to visit the child care provider to make sure for yourself that this is the right match for you. The Office of Children and Family Services has a helpful brochure, As you think about child care... / Cuando piense en los servicios de cuidado infantil..., which you can view from this web site or have mailed to you by your CCRR or Regional Office of the Division of Child Care Services.
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If you are looking for child care, the Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRR) in your county is a great place to start. To provide this service, CCRR agencies collect and maintain up-to-date information about all types of legal child care programs in their areas. CCRR counselors can provide you with information about various types of programs, costs, financial assistance and guidelines for selecting child care, but the final choice is always your responsibility as a parent. If you want help finding child care or have questions about child care, contact your local CCRR. They will ask you about the kind of care you are looking for, the ages of your children, the hours of care you need and other specifics such as any special needs your child might have. Based on that information, they will be able to give you a list of providers that most closely meet your needs.
While looking for the best licensed child care, preschool or schoolage only programs for your child and your family, it is recommended that you visit more than one program with your child, if possible. Great Start to Quality is committed to helping Michigan families find child care, preschool and schoolage only programs that are safe and educational.
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.
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.

Due to social pressure, parents of sick children in childcare may be willing to give unnecessary medical care to their children when advised to do so by childcare workers and even if it is against the advice of health care providers.[40] In particular, children in childcare are more likely to take antibiotics than children outside of childcare.[40]
Inspections are conducted before a child day care program is licensed or registered and on an ongoing basis once the program is in operation. Inspection results are available on the OCFS web site through this Search for Child Care page. If a parent or child care provider has questions or concerns about the results of an inspection, they can contact the licensing staff or the regional office that oversees the program.
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.
There are links between the income, education, and importance of consistency and the well being of the child, to the parents, and the development of their child. Higher educated parents place more importance on the education of their children than the parents who do not have a college degree or have not graduated from high school. Likewise, parents who have a higher income level are more willing to part with their money to purchase a private tutor or nanny to assist the parent in the education of their child. They also tend to stress the importance of being socially inept.[31] The first few years of a child's life are important to form a basis for good education, morality, self-discipline and social integration. Consistency of approach, skills and qualifications of caregivers have been shown in many studies to improve the chances of a child reaching his or her full potential. Child care in much of western society is currently in crisis: there are not enough daycare spots, the cost for most parents is beyond their means, and child care staff are grossly underpaid. Starting wages for Early Childcare Educators start at $11 or $12, causing a high turnover rate, and decreases the likelihood of potentially safe, effective, and loving child care providers from even entering the field. For preschool teachers the average salary is about $28,570.[35] According to a survey done by HiMama, 68% of for-profit child care organizations ranked 'Labor' as their top risk and 65% ranked 'Talent and Recruitment' as their top priority for 2017.[36]
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.[21]
Due to social pressure, parents of sick children in childcare may be willing to give unnecessary medical care to their children when advised to do so by childcare workers and even if it is against the advice of health care providers.[40] In particular, children in childcare are more likely to take antibiotics than children outside of childcare.[40]
Choosing child care is an important decision. You can learn about choices in these short Child Care Options videos. Safe and positive child care sets the stage for healthy growth and development. It takes time, patience and understanding of what to look for when selecting child care. You know the needs of your child and family.However, you may need assistance in matching those needs to available resources. That is why OCFS is proud to share with you the supports that we have put in place to assist you in making this important decision.
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)

We are excited to be a part of the proven success of early care and education programs. Through research, services and advocacy, Child Care Services Association realizes improvements to the child care system throughout North Carolina and across the country. As a national nonprofit agency and United Way member, we are proud to be a leader and innovator in strengthening the early care and education system.
When a child care facility is licensed, it means that an Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (IDCFS) licensing representative has inspected the facility and it was found to meet the minimum licensing requirements set by IDCFS. A child care facility that is license exempt is one that is not licensed by IDCFS but must still meet minimum requirements set by Illinois in order to operate as a child care provider. The CCAP will only allow a license-exempt home to care for three children, including the provider's own children, during a day unless all of the children are from the same household. Below are the different types of Licensed and License Exempt Providers and the Standards/Procedures that they must meet.
The vast majority of childcare is still performed by the parents, in-house nanny or through informal arrangements with relatives, neighbors or friends. For example, in Canada, among two parent families with at least one working parent, 62% of parents handle the childcare themselves, 32% have other in-home care (nannies, relatives, neighbours or friends) and only 6.5% use a formal day care center.[64]
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