Staying home with your young child isn't always an option. Day care programs exist to fill the need of parents who have to, want to or need to work. Does this mean that all working parents send their children to the traditional type of child care center? Of course not. If you're choosing a program, consider all of your options first.
What types of day care programs are available? Check out these potential choices that all provide caring, comfort and even education while you're away!
- Home-based care. More than seven percent of children in non-relative care attend a home-based program, according to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). The definition of a home-based center varies, depending on the state or local licensing laws. These programs are based out of residential homes, and include multiple ages. Instead of having several classrooms, a home center typically has one group. Just because the center is located in a family's home doesn't mean there isn't an educational aspect. Many licensing rules require these programs to have age-appropriate curricula that meets all of the children's developmental needs.
- Head Start. Head Start schools serve roughly 12.6 percent of children in child care, notes the NCES. Serving low-income families, Head Start was founded in 1965 to promote school readiness. These federally-funded programs are available from school districts, community centers, child care centers and even group family homes.
- Montessori. This type of program is built on an educational philosophy that includes a prepared environment and multi-age groupings, according to the North American Montessori Teachers' Association. Early childhood programs include groupings of children ages 0 to 3 and 3 to 6. Specially designed manipulatives (or materials) engage the children, and allow them to make their own discoveries through experimentation and play.
- Traditional child care. The day care center is a general program that serves children from infancy through the preschool years. It's typically a multi-classroom site that divides children by ages. For example, the infants have their own room, the 2-year-olds have a room and so on. The school may opt for a specific learning or educational philosophy, pick a focused curriculum or allow the teachers to design their own activities and lessons. Day care programs such as these run on full-day schedules and are convenient for the parent who works daylight hours.
- After-hours or night-time care. Not all day care programs operate during the day. Parents who don't work a 9-5 schedule need care for their children during non-traditional hours. If you work the late-shift, these centers offer evening or overnight services.
Finding quality care for your child while you're away is essential if you work or are in school. Whether you need someone to watch your little one during the day-time hours, want an encouraging educational environment or need night-time help, day care programs like Basics Primary School & Day Care provide an array of options to meet your needs.