What is a Family Child Care Provider?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 20 January 2020
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A family’s growth often involves having children. For many parents, childbirth is a happy occasion, but this may not mean they can stay home and be full-time parents. Those who must return to work or school may employ the help of a family child care provider. This is generally an individual or company who cares for children in the absence of their parents.

There are several options that parents can choose when looking for a family child care provider. For example, some parents do not want their children cared for in foreign places. These people may choose to get a family child care provider who will work in their homes. This can be particularly beneficial when there are children of multiple ages. The worker can then care for any children who are below school age during the day and be there in the evenings to care for older children who arrive from school.

When such a family child care provider lives with the family, she is commonly referred to as a nanny. Employing a nanny can be a very expensive option, which may not fit into many families’ budgets. An in-home babysitter is likely to be cheaper, but this can also be costly since one family is basically responsible for providing that person with a full-time income.


Many parents choose to enroll their children at daycare centers. This is usually a business that acts as the family child care provider for many children. These facilities can greatly vary in style and structure. Some act as preschools and offer toddlers various types of instruction in classroom settings. Some are religious-based and focus on instilling a certain belief system in the children they care for.

Daycare centers are usually regulated by laws meant to protect the children they serve. There are often restrictions that limit the number of children that can be cared for by each adult. These restrictions may also dictate how much space is necessary to facilitate a group of children. These facilities also tend to be subject to safety and sanitation requirements.

The cost of daycare centers can be substantially cheaper than in-home services. This is because the cost of running the facility is spread across many families. Younger children, such as newborns, tend to be more expensive. In many cases, if a family has multiple children attending the daycare center, they can receive discounts. There may also be financial assistance available for families who choose this option.

Some parents need child care services only for a few hours after school. There are providers for this purpose. Sometimes a school will offer these services for an additional cost. Other organizations, such as the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) are also known to provide these services.

An after-school child care provider can be very beneficial. First, they make sure children are in a safe, supervised environment. Second, they often help children complete their homework. Third, they tend to teach good lifestyle habits such as proper eating and the importance of physical activity.



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