In monetary- and production-based societies, informal childcare is seen in families who do not have enough funds to finance placing their children in a more expensive child care facility. A study done by Roberta Iversen and Annie Armstrong explains that due to long and irregular working hours of working parents, low- socioeconomic families are more likely to utilize informal childcare. Those low income families are also more apt to work longer hours on an irregular and inflexible schedule, which ultimately makes using a childcare facility, that has regular business hours, unlikely.
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There is a great deal of empirical evidence that shows how higher child care costs have a negative impact on mothers’ employment. Mothers are more likely to leave employment and less likely to start new jobs when the costs of child care are high. It is also difficult for parents to keep their jobs when they do not have access to consistent quality child care. A study conducted by Jeffrey D. Lyons in North Carolina found that about one in four families who were on a waitlist for child care assistance either lost or had to quit their jobs while they waited for an opening.
In Canada, the workforce is predominantly female (95%) and low paid, averaging only 60% of average workforce wage. Many employees are at local minimum wage and are typically paid by the hour rather than salaried. In the United States, "child care worker" is the fifth most female-dominated occupation (95.5% female in 1999). In the US, staffing requirements vary from state to state.
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.
Learning Stories  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.
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.
Licensed or unlicensed home daycare is also referred to as family child care, or in home care. It refers to the care provided to a group of children in the home of a caregiver. State laws differ regarding rules for licensed versus unlicensed care. In Canada, most home daycares are unlicensed, and this is completely lawful. Licensing home daycares in Canada can help greatly with oversight, but at the cost of a large portion of the daycare provider's pay. Family child cares are small in size and provide families the same securities as a daycare center, and also has the benefits of flexible hours, lower costs, accessibility, and cultural compatibility. Home-based providers can give more individualized care and therefore better meet the needs of working families. In addition, family care generally has a small ratio of children in care, allowing for more interaction between child and provider than would be had at a commercial care center. Family child care helps foster emotionally secure interpersonal relationships for everyone involved. The providers are able to communicate each day with parents on a personal level and share information about the development of the child. Providers care for multi-aged groups of children allowing children to remain with one caregiver for many years which helps children develop a sense of trust and security. Multi-aged settings allow children to learn from one another and allow siblings to stay together. Some family child care providers may offer parents more flexibility with hours of operation such as evening, weekend, overnight, and before and after school care. In the United States, some family child care providers work with companies such as Wonderschool, for assistance in licensing, operations, marketing, and administrative support.
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