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Types of Childcare

Au pairs
Au pairs (oh-pares) are childcare providers visiting a country temporarily. An au pair provides childcare and light house work for a host family. The phrase 'au pair' means 'on even terms,' so an au pair is considered part of the family, and is included in meals, holiday celebrations, and family outings.
Babysitters
When choosing a baby-sitter, consider the attributes of attitude, strength, and knowledge. An easy way to remember these qualities is 'a-s-k', or 'ask.
Daycare centers
Daycare centers are one of the most common forms of childcare in the United States. Every state has guidelines regarding daycare facilities and how they should operate.
Family daycare
Family daycare allows your child to be cared for in home environment while you're at work or in school. This familiar setting can be comforting, especially to smaller children and infants.
Federal and state childcare
The growing trend of corporate-sponsored day care is fueled by greater demand for employee satisfaction, as well as practical solutions for employers who want reliable childcare for employees.
Federal and state childcare regulations
Federal and state agencies are responsible for the well being of children. The Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Disease Control, and individual state departments of daycare licensing enact legislature, create standards, and form guidelines to help ensure children are eating nutritiously, have safe environments, and are protected from diseases.
Montessori
Montessori methods of teaching were developed in 1907 by Maria Montessori, a medical doctor, educator, and anthropologist. Ms. Montessori believed childhood is a time of constant mental activity, and with no formal education, children can be directed in their own natural interests to become cultured and educated by the age of twelve.
Nannies
Nannies were once an option only for the very wealthy, but are now gaining in popularity in middle-class families. Often, nannies have specialized education in children's care, nutrition, and health.
Nursery schools
Nursery schools and mother's day out programs offer a part time childcare option. Many of these programs operate half-days, or a limited number of days a week.
Pre-kindergarten
Pre-kindergarten curriculums usually emphasize preparation for school. Object lessons, or learning by discovery, does play an essential role in pre-kindergarten, but teachers also emphasize social skills necessary in kindergarten.
Relative care
Relative care can be a wonderful option for parents and children with extended family members living nearby. As with regular family daycare, the child benefits from the comfort of being in a home atmosphere.
School-age care
School-age children often need care between school and the time parents return home from work or school. Many daycare centers offer an after-school program, as do community centers and churches.
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