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Day Care
About Day Care
Child care or day care is the care of a child during the day by a person other than the child's legal guardians, typically performed by someone outside the child's immediate family. Day care is typically an ongoing service during specific periods, such as the parents' time at work. The vast majority of childcare is still performed by the parents, in-house nanny or through informal arrangements with relatives, neighbours or friends. Child care in the child's own home is traditionally provided by a nanny or au pair, or by extended family members including grandparents, aunts and uncles. Child care is provided in nurseries or crèches or by a nanny or family child care provider caring for children in their own homes. It can also take on a more formal structure, with education, child development, discipline and even preschool education falling into the fold of services.
Standards and Requirements
Some jurisdictions require licensing or certification. Parents may also turn to independent rating services, or rely on recommendations and referrals. Some places develop voluntary quality networks, for example in Australia most childcare services are part of a national Quality Assurance system.
Most countries have laws relating to childcare, which seek to prevent and punish child abuse. Such laws may add cost and complexity to childcare provision and may provide tools to help ensure quality childcare.
Development
Independent studies suggest that good day care for non-infants is not harmful. In some cases, good day care can provide different experiences than parental care does, especially when children reach two and are ready to interact with other children. Bad day care puts the child at physical, emotional and attachment risk. Higher quality care was associated with better outcomes. Children in higher quality childcare had somewhat better...

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