Child care providers are entrepreneurs for whom child care is a way of providing service to the community.
Based on the kind of service child care providers can be categorized in to 4 types:
Baby sitters are that category of child care providers who visit the residence of the child to take care of them. It is usually contractual in nature and a freelancing option for those who want to operate according to their convenience. The service could be full time or part time and also for short periods or even once in a while. Their operations are not controlled by any regulation.
In the family child care category, the child care provider operates from her residence and takes in a small group of children as per the laws of the state. A valid license has to be obtained by the provider after clearing written tests and fulfilling certain criteria. As per law, a family child care provider is allowed to take in a maximum of six children if providing the service without assistants. With the help of an assistant, maximum of 12 children are allowed. In either case, a maximum of 4 infants are permitted in the group.
Child care centers are started by an owner (or partners) in a commercial space for the purpose of taking care of many children in a given community. It operates like a professional business centers and like any business has to account for profit and loss. They not only take care of many children, but also employ assistants and helpers for smooth operations. They have all the faculties and amenities required for the healthy development of children. They are liable for yearly audits with respect to finances and maintenance of the center.
There are another category of child care providers known as home care employees. They are usually nannies, house maids or au pairs, who are paid like household employees. They are untrained and perform only the basic functions of caring for a child.
Afterschool care centers: Some centers are established exclusively to cater to the needs of children after their school hours. They operate during normal academic sessions as well as during school vacations.
Church programs aimed at imparting religious discipline in the children of their community come under such providers.