What is family child care?Family child care is a service wherein child care is provided in a caregiver’s home. Many family child care homes provide high quality programs for infants and toddlers, preschoolers, school age, and children with special needs. Significant research has provided evidence that warm, loving, and home-like settings are natural learning environments for children during early childhood. While offering the safety and comfort of home, and providing a consistent caregiver throughout the years, family child care is the preferred arrangement for many parents.Several reasons to choose family child care:Our Homes.Significant research has provided evidence that warm, loving and home-like settings are natural environments for children during early childhood. While offering the safety and comfort of home, and providing a consistent caregiver throughout the years, family child care is the care of choice for many parents.Our Profession.What began years ago as an informal approach to providing child care as a way to support working parents, family child care providers today are making an intentional career choice to offer quality early care and education in their homes.Our Commitment.Family child care providers are dedicated to delivering high quality, emotionally secure and educational child care to children of all ages in every community across the country.WHO USES FAMILY CHILD CARE?Family Child Care is a widely used type of out-of-home care for young children in the United States, and is a preferred choice for infants and toddlers. Research has shown that family child care has unique qualities that make it the preferred arrangement of many parents. In fact, nationally 38% of all children under age 5 with working parents are in family child care programs and/or are in the care of relatives.WHY CHOOSE FAMILY CHILD CARE?•Family child care is conveniently available within neighborhoods where parents live and work.•Because family child care is so unique to each community, the type of care available is very diverse and may more closely match the child’s home environment.•The foundation of family child care is relationships. Relationships between parents and providers, providers and the children, and the children with each other. Family child care fosters emotionally secure interpersonal relationships with all families involved in care.•Family child care providers care for multi-aged groups of children allowing children to remain with one caregiver for many years. This develops trust and security in children.•In multi-aged settings, siblings are able to stay together and learn from one another.•Family child care tends to offer smaller ratios of children to adults, often allowing early intervention and special needs care to be more readily available.•Family child care providers can offer parents more flexibility with hours of operation such as including odd hour care, evening, weekend and/or overnight care.•Infant care tends to be more readily available in family child care programs and the benefits of this form of care are tremendously advantageous to very young children.•As many children remain in family child care when they begin school, before and after school care is also generally available within the same early care program.Good child care is NOT “just babysitting”•A good family child care home does much more than keep children busy, under control, and out of trouble.•A quality family child care home is a place where a family child care professional understands and responds to children, takes care of their physical needs, comforts them, and teaches them. Caregivers in a good family child care home know how to show children love and acceptance, and at the same time, strengthen the bond that children have with their own home and family members.•The family child care home is a place where children not only play but learn through play, using toys and materials that are interesting and just right for their growing abilities. Care is given by a provider who has learned about growing children and applies that knowledge in his/her services.•A family child care home can provide rich opportunities for children’s learning. Young children learn best when they are actively involved with things and people. They also learn well when they are comfortable, in a familiar setting, and when the experiences fit in easily with what they know already. The kitchen is one of the world’s best learning environments. Preparing food can teach science, math, and language as a child watches steam rise from a tea kettle, helps measure the flour into the muffin batter, and talks about the white and yolk of an egg.•Natural happenings and neighborhood events contribute to a child’s learning in a home. When it “looks like rain,” there is time to scan the sky and talk about clouds. If a city crew starts to fix a pothole in the street or a neighbor invites the children to see a litter of kittens, this event becomes the activity of the moment. For young children, daily happenings are important educational events.•Family child care makes it possible for children to get the attention they need, when they need it, and promotes understanding between children. A family child care setting usually has a small group, but a wide range of ages. The range in ages allows an infant to enjoy the closeness and activity of a 5-year-old’s play while giving the 5-year-old a chance to learn about babies.•Early development is the basis for all later development. Children’s feelings of self-worth, their attitudes toward themselves, other people and the world, and the skills with which they cope and operate are all acquired early and through all of their experiences.•A quality family child care care home fills the many hours that the child spends there with meaningful and developmentally appropriate activities that help children grow.Why choose a nationally accreditated family child care program?NAFCC Accreditation is an indicator that family child care offers safe, inviting spaces and warm, nurturing care complete with educational activities designed to meet the needs and interests of all children while promoting individual development.Nationally accredited homes meet higher standards in child care and set the benchmark for quality.