Many parents are challenged with the task of finding proper care for their child or children when they need to be away from the house. Day care is the care of a child during the day by a person other than the child’s legal guardians, typically performed by someone outside the child’s immediate family. Daycare is traditionally an ongoing service during specific periods, such as the parents’ time at work. There are many things people want to know about day care and often ask what to look for when choosing a daycare. Since there are a few different options regarding these services, it’s best to understand how to find a good daycare that works for you and your family.
Childcare can be provided in nurseries or by a nanny or family child care provider who come to the child’s own home. Day care can also take on a more formal structure, with education, child development, discipline and even preschool education falling into the fold of services. Some employers provide day care options for their employees at or near the place of employment. These employer sponsored childcare centers have proven to boost employee productivity and cut down on sick time and time away from work.
Occasionally, child care takes place in the child’s own home and is knowns as private day care. This care is often provided by a family member, nanny or au pair. From a business perspective, the day care industry is a continuum from personal parental care to large, regulated institutions. For profit day care corporations often exist where the market is sufficiently large or there are government subsidies. For instance, in North America, large learning and care centers are common and provide a solution for regulated, quality care.
Another factor favoring large corporate daycare is the existence of childcare facilities in the workplace. Large corporations often do not handle this employee benefit directly themselves and will seek out large corporate daycare businesses to manage on site corporate daycare. Most smaller, for profit day cares operate out of a single location. Non profit day care centers are a common choice among working parents because they offer affordable prices, often coordinate with local school districts, sometimes provide services for free or low cost and can often to fundraising that many for profit centers cannot.
In general, the geographic limitations and the diversity in type of daycare providers make child daycare a highly fragmented industry. Good references here.