At home, care is typically provided by nannies, au pairs, or friends and family. The child is watched inside their own home which could expose them to outside children and illnesses. Depending on the number of children in the home, the children utilizing in-home care could enjoy the greatest amount of interaction with their caregiver, in turn forming a close bond. There are no required licensing or background checks for in-home care, making parental vigilance essential in choosing an appropriate caregiver. Nanny and au pair services provide certified caregivers and the cost of in-home care is the highest of childcare options per child, though a household with many children may find this the most convenient and affordable option. Many nannies study towards childcare qualifications. This means they are trained to create a safe and stimulating environment for your child to enjoy and thrive in. Typically, au pairs or nannies provide more than routine child care, often providing assistance with daily household activities which include running errands, shopping, doing laundry, fixing meals, and cleaning the house.
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.
Spain provides paid maternity leave of 16 weeks with 30-50% of mothers returning to work (most full-time) after this, 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. Public preschool education is provided for most children aged 3–5 years in "Infantil" schools which also provide primary school education.