Types Of Child Care

Child Care Centers

Child Care Centers (sometimes called nursery schools or preschool programs) provide care for children in a group setting for all or part of the day. Centers can provide care for infants, toddlers, pre-schoolers, and school age children. Centers vary in size, focus, and philosophy.

  • This environment is designed specifically for children
  • Teamwork can promote a positive atmosphere and spirit of cooperation
  • Staff emergencies do not affect the center's hours
  • Many centers provide a written account of the individual child's activities.
  • Centers are likely to have connections to a wider array of community resources
  • Some centers are designed to assess and help children with special needs.
  • The state requires that staff meet defined levels of child development coursework and training and mandates the ratio of adults to children
  • A center must follow state licensing requirements, which provide guidelines for health and safety.

For referrals to Family Child Care Search our provider database or Contact a Pathways referral specialist

Family Child Care

Family Child Care is best described as care provided by a person who has a small child care business in his or her own home. Anyone who cares for more than one other family’s children, other than that of a relative in his or her own home, is a Family Child Care Provider and is required by law to obtain a license. Licensed family child care can be small (6-8 children) or large (up to 14 children with an assistant present).

  • This setting is home-like
  • Parents and children benefit from the sense of having an "extended family"
  • There is continuity and the opportunity for bonding with the same primary child care provider
  • May provide more flexibility in caring for children with minor illnesses
  • May be able to accommodate the need for long or unusual hours
  • It is possible to find a provider who shares a similar lifestyle
  • Licensing requirements insure that every adult in the home has a TB clearance and has no criminal record or accusations of child abuse.

For referrals to Family Child Care Search our provider database or Contact a Pathways referral specialist

License-Exempt Child Care

License-Exempt Child Care can be provided by a friend, relative, babysitter who cares for your child in their home or yours, full or part-time. Providers available for this type of care are not required to be licensed since they only care for the children of a single family.

  • This setting may be convenient for the parent
  • Your child may be in familiar surroundings
  • With fewer children, there is less risk of illness than in other forms of care
  • There is typically a lower child to provider ratio

For License-Exempt Child Care speak with friends and family members about being your child care provider.

Before and After School Care Programs

Before and After School Care Programs are available at many elementary schools and other sites, for parents who need to drop off their school-age children before school begins, or leave them at school until the end of the work day.

  • Usually on school grounds
  • Easy transition for the child
  • Children may be offered tutoring or education support
  • Kids get to play with friends
  • Cost is minimal

For referrals to Before and After School Care Programs Contact a Pathways referral specialist

Parks and Recreation Programs

  • Well known area in the community
  • May offer tutoring or education activities
  • Children may feel a sense of independence by being in a less structured environment
  • Access to sports equipment
  • Fun activities for the children
  • Minimal cost

For referrals to Parks and Recreation Programs Contact a Pathways referral specialist