Home child care is child care which is offered in a home, rather than in a dedicated child care facility. This type of child care tends to offer more personalized attention to attendees, and it usually includes smaller groups of children, sometimes limited to children from the same family. Child care providers who offer home child care must be licensed and certified, and many are members of professional organizations which certify child care providers; if possible, it is an excellent idea to go through someone who belongs to a professional organization for child care providers, as it indicates a commitment to excellence.
There are two formats in which home child care may be offered. In the first case, a certified provider runs a child care service out of his or her private home. The service has set hours, and usually limits the number of children, with parents paying fees which can vary, depending on how often they need to use the service. The home is usually equipped with materials for educational enrichment, and often offers snacks and activities to attendees.
Group home child care can include a mixture of children of many different ages. It can be great for socialization, as children get to interact with different children from a variety of backgrounds and age groups. Many communities have several such services, and parents can find services which offer child care from specific perspectives, such as Christian child care services or child care services which focus on providing care for children with disabilities.
In the other style of home child care, a care provider such as a nanny provides care for a child in the child's home, or in the provider's home. The provider may also handle siblings, along with friends of the primary child in care, by special arrangement. In this case, the child care provider is usually bonded and insured, and must show qualifications including evidence of training in working with young children along with references. One way to get in home child care of this type is to go through an agency which screens providers before setting them up with families, although some people have success working privately.
Some parents prefer the smaller, more personalized model of home child care to using a child care business which takes more children and may function in a more institutional space. When selecting a provider, it is wise to seek out multiple references, to confirm that the provider is fully licensed, and to interview several providers to find the best fit.