Day care centers
There are many choices for day care centers, including privately owned for-profit centers, church-supported programs and nonprofit community centers. Each type is unique in its own way. Parents must determine what works best for their family when deciding on care.
Many individuals offer day care in their homes. Some parents prefer the casual setting and the fact that home care often features fewer children.
Nannies and au pairs
If they can afford it, parents may prefer having caregivers come to their own home. Nannies generally arrive at work daily, while au pairs live with the family. Au pairs usually provide child care and light housekeeping in exchange for room, board and a cultural experience.
Home-based parents may want part-time help with children. Mother's helpers, who may be neighborhood teens, can give a parent time to focus on a task at home.
Before- and after-school care
Schools may offer child-care programs before and after class time. Such care may also be provided by the local YMCA or other community organizations, as well as local day care centers and in-home child care services.