Guide To Different Child Care Programs
Finding the right type of child care program is an essential goal for many parents of young children. To meet the unique needs of children and their families, several different types of child care programs have been established. While every child care program must abide by specific guidelines set forth by their governing community agencies, there are several specific differences between each one that can enable a family to tailor the program to fit their individual needs. The following guide to child care programs has been created to help those who are beginning to explore their child care options to find a program that will work best for them and their child.
Center-Based Child Care
One of the most common types of child care programs is center-based care. In this type of program, children are dropped off at a specific center each day by their family members. Once there, children spend time in a classroom participating in engaging activities designed to stimulate their learning at their developmental level. Center-based care is available for children from six-weeks of age to 12 years old; however, some centers focus primarily on a specific age group such as preschool.
In-Home Nanny Services
For some busy families, an in-home child care program is more convenient. Using nanny or caregiver services can enable a child to stay in their own home each day while being looked after by a professional caregiver who is trained in child development. Although there is less supervision in this type of child care program, many families overcome this issue by installing cameras and home monitoring systems that can allow them to know what happens each day when they are away.
Home-Based Child Care Services
Child care programs that are family-owned and operated out of a person’s home are considered home-based services. Generally, a home-based child care program must obtain a license and participate in regular inspections to ensure that they are providing quality care and supervision. This type of program is ideal for anyone who finds the idea of a family atmosphere appealing.
Before and After School Care
School-age children may only require child care during the time they are out of school. For this reason, many child care programs offer before and after school programs for children in elementary school. These programs often provide drop-off and pick-up services that can offer a convenient way for parents to make sure their child is safe during the after school hours. Many of these programs appeal to older children’s needs and interests by offering computer courses and tutors to help with homework.
Specialized Child Care Programs
Many families prefer to develop their child’s talents during their time in a child care program. Although most child care programs teach the fundamentals such as alphabetic knowledge and mathematics, certain programs take this further by offering lessons in art, music and technology. In these specialized programs, children of all ages will participate in age-appropriate activities that can enable them to build lifelong skills.
Knowing the differences between the various child care programs can make it easier to find the right one for a person’s child. When making a decision on a child care program, it is important to consider the child’s age, interests and need for supervision. This way, the right child care program can be selected that will help to foster their development while keeping them safe during their time away from home.