The history of child care is a universal practice that has been around for centuries that was only at first usually practiced among relatives. However, over the past decades with the increase in women employment, single parent homes, and the economy mothers and families have begun enrolling their children in child care centers regularly. Consequently, childcares became the norm in society and by the 1990’s 6 million infant and toddlers were in regular non parental child care (Phillips & Adams, 2001). Now that a high demand for child care was needed parents were faced with the issue of seeking suitable care facilities that conformed to certain standards, their budget, values, and other factors that were preferred and fit their needs. Since there are so many different child care types, principles, programs, and etc. that parents can choose from it can be difficult to know what to look for and decide what the best fit is for your child. This paper will briefly go over the cost, variety of child care arrangements, childcare regulations, and personnel qualifications among other factors to consider when choosing proper care for your children and their development.
The first factors parents should consider when childcare is decided to be needed are the affordability, availability, type of care desired, and quality of the center they might choose. These three factors directly affect the parent’s capability to manage their work and family life, which is why they must be decided upon first. Child care for infants and toddlers are more costly than care given to older children. The average child care prices in urban areas in 47 states found that in over one-half of the cities surveyed full-time care for an infant was more than $6, 032 per year for child care centers, and more than $5,000 per year for family child care homes (Phillips & Adams, 2001).
Parents need to plan out a budget to figure out how much of their income can be devoted to child care which can prove to be an obstacle for lower income families. Families normally spend 20% of their incomes on housing, 10% on food, and whatever is left they divide between child care expenses and other bills (Hofferth, 1996). To assist families in making child care more affordable child care subsidies and tax credits are made available to give them more choices (Hofferth, 1996). The families whose income is below the poverty line can receive subsidies for child care and enroll their children in some programs completely without charge (Scarr, 1998). Parents need to identify what they can afford to spend on care, and apply for any extra assistance if required.
Then along with the affordability of the child care parents need to discuss what hours of care is most suitable to coincide with their work schedule. In 1990, 7.2 million mothers with 11.7 million children under the age 15 worked full or part time during non-standard hours (Hofferth, 1996). The National Child Care Survey taken in 1990 showed that one...