Types of Child Care
There are many types of child care to choose from in New York State. When choosing child care it is important to recognize quality programs which offer a warm, safe and friendly environment. Activities that help children to learn and develop are an essential part of a program. Parents are the best judge of their children’s needs and should choose the program that fits the families’ needs.
Family Day Care Homes – provide care for three to six children at a time in a residence; may add one or two school-age children. The maximum allowable number of children will depend on whether there are and how many infants are in care.
Group Family Day Care Homes – provide care for seven to twelve children at a time in a residence; may add one or four school-age children. The maximum allowable number of children will depend on whether there are and how many infants are in care. A provider must use an assistant when more than six children are present.
Day Care Centers – provide care for more than six children, not in a personal residence.
School-Age Child Care Programs – provide care for more than six children from kindergarten through age twelve. Care of children during non-school hours; also may provide care during school vacation periods and holidays.
Nursery Schools – provide care for three hours a day or less. In New York City, the City Department of Health regulates these programs. A nursery school may voluntarily register with the State Education Department (SED).
Pre-Kindergartens – usually located in public schools, but can also be found in private schools or day care centers; supervised by the SED.
Head Start Centers – targeted for preschool-age children from low income families; federally funded and usually licensed as Day Care Centers.
Informal (Family & Friends)
Legally Exempt Care – provide care for one to two children at a time in addition to the provider’s children, usually in the provider’s home; are not required to register.
*Please note Licensed and Registered Providers:
- Are monitored by the State of New York
- Receive site or home inspections
- Everyone over the age of 18 living in the home or working at the site has to be fingerprinted and have a criminal background check done
- Maintain 30 hours of training which includes CPR and First Aid