Using part of a family’s total income is a second but equally problematic option for securing child care. In recent years the costs of care have skyrocketed, placing a disproportionate burden on families’ budgets. The fact is, for millions of families across the United States, paying for high-quality private child care is an economic impossibility.
Family child care homes can be operated by a single individual out of their home. In most states, the legal age of 18 is only required. There may be occasions when more than one individual cares for children in a family childcare home. This can be a stay-at-home parent who seeks supplemental income while caring for their own child. There are also many family childcare providers who have chosen this field as a profession. Both state and county agency legislation regulate the ratios (number and ages of children) allowed per family child care home. Some counties have more stringent quality standards that require licensing for family child care homes while other counties require little or no regulations for childcare in individuals' homes. Some family child care homes operate illegally with respect to tax legislation where the care provider does not report fees as income and the parent does not receive a receipt to qualify for childcare tax deductions. However, licensing a family child care home is beneficial for family child care home providers so that they can have access to financial benefits from their state government, or the federal government where they are allowed to accept children from parents who meet the criterion to benefit from the government childcare subsidy funding. Examples of such benefits are: free Professional Development and training courses, Child And Adult Care Food Program (which allows eligible childcare and family childcare home providers to claim a portion of costs relating to nutritious meals served to children), and more;.[20]
^ Jump up to: a b Rooshenas, L; Wood, F; Brookes-Howell, L; Evans, MR; Butler, CC (May 2014). "The influence of children's day care on antibiotic seeking: a mixed methods study". The British journal of general practice : the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners. 64 (622): e302–12. doi:10.3399/bjgp14x679741. PMC 4001146. PMID 24771845.
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.[9]

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.
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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. Childcare information Click Here

Finding and choosing the licensed child care, preschool or schoolage only setting that is right for your child and family can be challenging. Great Start to Quality makes your search for licensed child care, preschool and schoolage only programs easier, gives you tips to make an informed decision and the confidence of knowing you chose the care in your area that best suits your family’s needs.  
Do you want your child to have fun, engaging opportunities that support continued learning and personal growth outside of school? Seattle Parks and Recreation, in partnership with Associated Recreation Council offers programs that provide children with opportunities to develop socially, emotionally, and physically. We work in partnership with local schools to make sure your child's educational experience is constantly being enriched. Our trained staff works daily to offer activities in areas such as: arts and culture, environmental stewardship, health and fitness, academic support, and more.

Access to child care is essential to a woman’s ability to participate in the workforce, and a lack of access to child care affects the work-family balance of both women and men. Women need to have the ability to make the choices that are best for them and their families in both the short and long term, and greater national investments in child care and preschool programs could help remove some of the constraints that may push mothers toward decisions that have negative economic consequences for them and their families down the road. It would make quality care more affordable for American families and support mothers’ employment.


You’ve found the most comprehensive collection of information about childcare centers in the U.S, with 122,016 licensed childcare centers and 121,278 home daycare providers. Selecting a childcare center for our children is one of the most important decisions we make as parents. It’s important to choose a preschool or home daycare to which children love to go and where safety is of the utmost concern. Please use the Quick Search box on this page to find the perfect child care solution for your family!
According to the 1995 U.S. Census Bureau Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), over thirty-six percent of families of preschoolers with working mothers primarily relied on childcare in the home of a relative, family daycare provider or other non-relative. Almost twenty-six percent of families used organized childcare facilities as their primary arrangement.[90]
Evidence from other countries shows that child care subsidies increase women’s labor force participation, help them obtain more stable jobs, and increase their income. While interventions in the United States have been much more modest by international standards, there is ample evidence showing that child care assistance helps working moms. Families who receive child care support are more likely to be employed and have longer employment spells that families who do not receive support. The effects are particularly strong for single mothers, who are nearly 40 percent more likely to maintain employment over two years than those who do not have help paying for child care.
The National Institute of Health released a study in March, 2007 after following a group of children through early childhood to the 6th grade.[91] The study found that the children who received a higher quality of childcare scored higher on 5th grade vocabulary tests than the children who had attended childcare of a lower quality. The study also reported that teachers found children from childcare to be "disobedient", fight more frequently, and more argumentative. The study reported the increases in both aggression and vocabulary were small. "The researchers emphasized that the children’s behavior was within the normal range and were not considered clinically disordered."

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