Programs that provide educational experiences and activities for children who are younger than compulsory school age, supplement parental care and home play and stimulate intellectual growth and motor skills development. Activities generally include preacademic skill development such as shape, colour and number recognition; active outdoor play; observation of nature and pets; dancing and rhythms; block building; playhouse activities; games; simple excursions outside the school; stories and picture books. Children are also given a nutritious snack and/or meal and a period for adequate rest, and are taught basic cleanliness and good health habits.
Programs that provide training for individuals who want to become qualified as occasional baby sitters or child care professionals, and who need information regarding rules, regulations, accepted practices and available resources.
Programs that cover all or part of the cost of child care in public and licensed private child care centres or private family child care homes, usually for low-income families or families which include children with disabilities in situations where parents are working, in school or in a training program. Also included are programs that pay the costs of in-home or out-of-home child care when the parent is receiving diagnostic tests, undergoing medical treatment, is hospitalized or needs to be out of the house for other reasons; and those that provide financial assistance to families with young children to help cover some of the costs of a parent staying home to care for their child.
Programs that provide provincial and community-based services that are designed to improve the availability and quality of child care. These programs maintain lists of child care resources and link families who are in need of child care services with child care centres, licensed family child care homes and other organization-based providers; provide information that helps families become good consumers of child care services; recruit new child care providers to expand the availability of the service locally; provide training and technical assistance for providers; and collect and disseminate data which document the demand for child care services and the current availability of child care resources. Some programs may also make referrals to preschools and many provide referrals to children's play groups.
Programs that provide regularly scheduled opportunities for children to engage in supervised play with one another.
Organizations whose members are child care providers who have affiliated for the purpose of advancing the profession; promoting mutual interests; attending child care conferences; exchanging ideas with other practitioners in their field; obtaining access to technical assistance, information about best practices and other resources; and taking advantage of other opportunities for continuing professional development.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.