Child care, child minding, or daycare is the caring for and supervision of a child or children, usually ranging from age six weeks to age compensation for home schooling of the child. Child care is the action or skill of looking after children by a day-care center, nannies, babysitter, teachers or other providers.
Usually children are taken care of by their parents, legal guardians or siblings. Cross-culturally, children caring for children is very common. This informal care includes verbal direction and other explicit training regarding the child’s behavior, and is often as simple as “keeping an eye out” for younger siblings. At home, care is typically provided by nannies, au pairs, or friends and family. The child is watched inside their own home which could expose them to outside children and illnesses. Nanny agencies will thoroughly check an applicant’s references and run a criminal background check on the successful candidate. Having a nanny could be cheaper than putting multiple children in a daycare setting full time.
Nannies could provide stability for the child who gets to have a regular role model in their life. Family child care providers care for children in the provider’s own home. The children could be in a mixed age group with a low adult to child ratio. Care can also potentially be personalized and individual.
The hours may be more flexible and the provider may offer evening and weekend care for parents who work shifts. The cost in a family child care could be significantly lower on average than that of a center. Child care facilities in the US have the option of becoming accredited. This standard is set and regulated by an outside agency. In centers, National Association for the Education of Young Children institutes it.