Last month was the National Child Abuse Prevention Month, so it is an appropriate time to talk about child care: child care options, how to choose a child care facility, national and state regulations, abuse/neglect, and common injuries. Just like the elderly, children represent a vulnerable population, requiring special regulations, protections, and oversight. (See “Children in Day Care Are Susceptible to Many of the Same Problems Our Elderly Nursing Home Patients Encounter”)
Child Care Options
Child Care is the regular, supervised, and paid care of children. In the United States, there are over 335,000 licensed child care facilities . There are a variety of child care options available for families:
- Nanny/Au Pair – This is a setup where the family hires one person to either come to the child’s home or actually live in the child’s home.
- Family, Friend, and Neighbor Care – This is a situation where a relative, friend, neighbor, or other adult provides care in either the child’s home or their own home.
- Family Child Care or Day Care Home/Group Day Care Home – These are residential facilities where child care is usually provided in care provider’s residence. Typically, one child care provider cares for a small number of children. States have different definitions for this type of facility based on number of children.
- Child Care Centers – These are nonresidential facilities that provide care to children typically in classrooms of children in different age groups. Some states have licensing requirements including minimum number of children and minimum number of hours the facility operates.
- Early education programs can also provide an alternative to traditional child care options. They focus on school readiness and work on developing a child’s social, emotional, physical, intellectual, speech and language development with a variety of activities. Early education programs include:
- Early Head Start (EHS) – This is a federally funded, community-based program for low-income families with infants and toddlers. It provides child development programs through EHS center-based programs, home-visit programs, or a combination of the two. (Head Start Locator)
- Head Start – This is the same as Early Head Start Programs, but is intended for children 3-5 years old. The focus of Head Start is school readiness of young children from low-income families (family income is at or below the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines).
- State-funded prekindergarten programs – Some States actually fund prekindergarten programs for children 3-4 years old in order to give them the experiences they need to be ready for kindergarten.
The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) collected information about child care arrangements for children younger than 15 years. The following table shows the percentage distribution of the primary child care arrangement.
As you can see there are a broad array of child care arrangements available for families today based on the needs of both child and parents. Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers is committed to the safety and well being of children in all care settings. We welcome you to visit our Child Injury Laws Blog for the most recent developments related to child care and safety.
|Sibling or other relative||
|Organized Care Facility||
|Day care center||
|Nursery or preschool||
|Other Nonrelative Care||
|In child’s home||
|In provider’s home||
|Family day care||
|No regular arrangement||