The service is known as day care or childcare in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia and as crèche in Ireland and New Zealand. According to Oxford Living Dictionaries, child care in two words can in addition have the broader meaning of the care of a child by anyone, including the parents, but US dictionaries do not record that spelling or meaning. In English-speaking and other conservative countries, the vast majority of childcare is still performed by the parents, in-house nannies or through informal arrangements with relatives, neighbors or friends, but most children are in daycare centers for most of the day in Nordic Countries, for example. Child care in the child's own home is traditionally provided by a nanny or au pair, or by extended family members including grandparents, aunts and uncles. Child care is provided in nurseries or crèches or by a nanny or family child care provider caring for children in their own homes. It can also take on a more formal structure, with education, child development, discipline and even preschool education falling into the fold of services.
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.
You don't always get what you pay for, and in this instance, it's a good thing. Quality programs can be very affordable, so I wouldn't brush off a program based solely on price. There are even free programs available which offer children amazing opportunities and resources. You don't have to break the bank to find a great program, so definitely do your homework.
Some companies have improved their child-care policies. Earlier this month, Starbucks SBUX, +2.77% said it would offer 10 subsidized back-up child care days annually to workers, meant to help staffers who find themselves in a jam when care arrangements fall apart. The company is teaming up with Care.com so that workers can pay a dollar an hour for backup care, or $5 for a day’s stay at in-center child care.