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Non-Parental Childcare

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Non-Parental Childcare:
Understanding How it Affects Children
Patricia L. Johnson
SOC 312
Instructor Okantey May 21, 2012

Non-Parental Childcare:
Understanding How it Affects Children There are many different types of childcare available in society today and most are much different than childcare that was experienced a few decades ago. Today’s parents are having to work outside the home more than ever before and need others to help care for their children while they are at work. Non-parental childcare comes in to play at this point. Non-parental childcare is childcare that is provided for children that comes from someone other than the child’s parents. (Berns, 2013) Non-parental childcare usually comes in three main types, child-care centers, family day-care homes, and in-home care: nannies. (Berns, 2013) These three types can include a variety of subtypes of non-parental childcare, including having a friend or relative watch a child, hiring a sitter, using a neighborhood cooperative to care for children, using a childcare (commonly known as a daycare center or preschool program) center, hiring an in-home nanny, or using before and/or after school programs. Non-parental childcare that takes place in daycare centers or preschool programs and most in-home nannies that are hired usually have been trained in how to care for a child. All types of non-parental childcare contribute to the socialization of children, as well as enhancing other areas of development. Most parents would agree that their children should receive quality care from those looking after them during times when parents cannot. The term quality can mean something different from person to person, but should include care that helps the child develop psychologically, socially, and cognitively. Throughout this paper, this writer will discuss the types of childcare and how they can aid in the development of children. Child-care centers are used quite often for children between the ages of 0 to 8 years. Child-care centers are places in which children are cared for by non-parent adults for a portion of or the entire day and can include nonprofit or profit seeking groups. (California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, 2012) These centers are usually accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and are expected to meet certain criteria in order to earn accreditation. (Berns, 2013) Centers should provide quality care that includes having an acceptable adult to child ratio, good nutritional programs, and early educational support. Young children are able to play and/or talk with other children and adults which aids in socialization. Many children eat two or more meals per day at a child-care centers and good nutrition is key in physical development. Cognitively children are developing with the help of staff that is teaching them about everything from toilet training to early math and reading skills. Children that attend quality child-care centers will most likely do better in school than children who do not receive the same type of care. The second type of non-parental child-care is the family day-care home. This type of child-care takes place in a single family home and can usually have between 6 to 8 years old, children depending on age and state and is often run by a friend or relative. (California Child Care Resource & Referral Network, 2012) Programs are usually licensed by the state in which they are located and held to certain child-care standards. Family day-care homes are good because they can afford a higher level of attention per child due to their small size. The small adult to child ratio and extra attention allow the child to feel more important and supports learning and psychological development. Opportunities for learning through play aid in both cognitive and social development. The biggest downside to this type of child-care is the cost and may be out of reach for low income families. The last type of child-care to be discussed is the in-home care provided by nannies. Nannies often live with the families of the children they care for and tend to all of the needs of the child(ren) in their care. (Sullivan University, 2011) Nannies provide child specific care and plan activities that will enhance all areas of child development. Nannies will often set up play dates with other children, take children on fun and educational outings to zoos, museums, etc., and provide a great deal of one-on-one attention. The level of attention will again, aid in psychological development and playing with other children and having diverse experiences will provide further social and cognitive development. This type of child-care is often a wonderful experience for the child, but as is the case with family day-care homes, in quite expensive and not within the grasp of low income families. In conclusion, non-parental child-care can be a wonderful experience for most children if they are placed in the care of trained groups or individuals. Low adult to child ratios are important in order to provide children with enough attention to have them learn as much as possible. Socialization opportuinites abound in most child-care situations by exposing children to adults and other children outside their family unit. Cognitive development is aided by providing the child with early learning experiences that will aid them as they continue on into school and beyond. Children who are given these opportunities will often do much better in school than those who do not receive a high level of early child-care.

References
Berns, R.M. (2013). Child, family, school, community: Socialization and support (9th ed.). Belmont, CA. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. ISBN: 9781111830960.
California Child Care Resource & Referral Network. (2012). Child care glossary. Retrieved from: http://www.rrnetwork.org/rr-in-every-county/providers/child-care-glossary.html
Sullivan University. (2011). What is a nanny? Retrieved from: http://www.sullivan.edu/early_childhood_education/what_is_a_nanny.asp

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