Programs that are licensed to provide supervised care within designated facilities for children during some portion of a 24-hour day. Staff for approved day care centres must meet defined educational requirements; the program must ensure specified adult/child ratios; and the facility must meet building, fire and zoning codes. Services may include recreational and developmental activities and snacks and/or meals, as appropriate.
Programs in which parents actively involve themselves in the governance and/or operation of the child care facility in a manner that most fits their interests, abilities and availability. The centre must meet all of the provincial licensing requirements for a facility of its size.
Programs that provide supervised care for children on an unscheduled basis for all or part of the day in situations where the need for child care arrangements is unexpected.
Child care centres, family child care homes, schools and recreation centres that provide supervised care for school-age children prior to the beginning and/or following the end of the school day, on school holidays and teacher work/conference days, during school breaks and, in some cases, during the summer when school is not in session in situation where their parents are working or otherwise engaged. While some extended day care programs provide a variety of activities for children in the program, they are not designed to provide specialty instruction such as art or music lessons, or organized sports.
Programs that provide supervised care for children in licensed private family homes during some portion of a 24-hour day. The number of children is restricted according to provincial regulations and is also sensitive to the age ranges of the children (e.g., a private home may be able to look after five preschool children but not five infants). Family day care homes above a certain size may also be required to employ a qualified aide and meet safety regulations such as fire inspections.
Programs that provide care and supervision for children in the child's own home during some portion of a 24-hour day. Included are Mother's Helpers who provide assistance for stay-at-home mothers.
Unlicensed child care that is provided in the homes of individuals through a private agreement between the parent and the caregiver. The provider may be a family member, friend or neighbour of the parent; or an individual the parent accesses through a caregiver registry or a classified advertisement. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure that the arrangements provide the level of care required. Caregivers are expected to declare their income for tax purposes just as the parents may claim the expenses as a taxable deduction. There may limits on the number of children that can be accommodated within a single home which vary by jurisdiction.
Programs that offer the services of individuals who are willing to share a family's home and provide ongoing care for the children in the family.
Programs that provide substitute parental care for children on Saturdays and Sundays. Care may be provided in family child care homes, child care centres or the child's own home, and parents or other regular caregivers can usually make arrangements to drop their children off or pick them up at whatever hours their work schedules require.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.