Find daycares and preschools. Daycares provide information on licensed infant and child care assistance, 24 hour and weekend day care centers, montessori, private, and public facilities.
Daycare is a service that supervises and cares for children too young to be left alone during periods when parents or guardians are unavailable due to work or other commitments. Daycare services are typically used for children too young to attend school or preschool, or for school-aged children that need supervision immediately before or after school hours.
Daycare services come in a variety of forms, including Daycare Centers operated by private businesses, non-profit and religious organizations, and government agencies, as well as Home Daycares run by individuals. While Daycare usually refers to the supervision and care of children, somewhat comparable services for elderly or disabled adults also exist, which are usually referred to as Adult Daycares.
All Daycare services are regulated extensively by state agencies. The regulation and licensing of Daycare services usually falls within a state's Human Services Department or the Office of Early Childhood. Regulations concerning Daycare services address staffing levels, the design and safety of physical spaces, accessibility, food, and programming. Background checks of all staff members are almost universally required.
Daycare Centers are operations that provide daycare in a setting other than a private home. They are typically larger and provide a classroom-style format that groups children by age. Most Daycare Centers offer structured programming, and many are accredited as providers of early learning programs. State regulations determine how many adult staff members are required per child, based on the children's age. Infants typically require at least one adult for every three infants. The ratio of children to adults increases with the children's age to a maximum of approximately ten children per adult staff members, though this varies by state. Daycare Centers are usually owned and operated by private businesses, non-profit organizations, or religious organizations. Government involvement in Daycare is usually limited to subsidizing Daycare costs for low-income families, though there are some examples of government owned and operated Daycare Centers.
Home Daycares are run by an individual and provide childcare in a home. The licensing requirements and regulations for Home Daycares differ somewhat from Daycare Centers. In addition to adult to children ratios, many states impose a total maximum number of children that can be cared for in a single home. Safety and design requirements also differ from Daycare Centers.