A family child care home is licensed to care for five or fewer infant to preschool age children, and an additional three school age children(some states). This includes children living in the home but the provider’s own school-age children are not counted in the ratio. (Individuals caring for one or two children are exempt from being licensed.) Many Family Child Care homes will provide care up to midnight to accommodate family who works that second shift. The provider’s home is the business location and often can be found right in your own neighborhood. Licenses are issued to family child care home providers who meet a specified list of state requirements. Many state licensing regulations require that family day cares provide age-appropriate and developmentally appropriate activities for the children and have required training for providers as well. In addition, NAFCC(National Association for Family Child Care) offers Family Child care providers an opportunity to take their child care business to the top of the quality ladder through their Accreditation program. Be sure to ask during your tour if the Family child care business has their accreditation-providers are proud of this accomplishment.
A Group Family Child Care Home is licensed child care in a personal home. They are allowed to care for a slightly larger number of children at one time. A group family child care provider must have an approved assistant present when caring for seven to twelve children at one time, may add one or two school age children as well.
Most providers do not advertise and rely on word of mouth and some use social media. The best resource is to contact out your local (CCR)Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.
Pros: Smaller environment for children who need more individualized care, children are in a more home-like family atmosphere. Many Family Childcare Homes have earned accreditation, which means they take their child care business to the top of the Quality Ladder.
Cons: Pricing can be lower in many cases. Location can be very convenient.
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