81,401 Child Daycare & Preschools in the United States

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Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.

Fred Rogers

What you need to know about before or after school daycare in the United States

Before or after school daycare, also known as latchkey care, is a type of child care that provides care for children before and after school. This type of care can be a great option for parents who work long hours or who have children who participate in extracurricular activities.

Here are some of the most important things to know about before or after school daycare in the United States:

  • Age Range: Before and after school daycare programs generally serve children of school age, typically from around 5 to 12 years old, covering elementary and sometimes middle school age groups.
  • Hours of Operation: These programs operate during specific hours before and after the school day. The exact timing may vary depending on the program and the needs of the local community. They often align with typical work hours to accommodate working parents' schedules.
  • Services Provided: Before and after school daycare programs offer a variety of services to meet children's needs. They typically provide a safe and supervised environment, facilitate homework assistance, offer age-appropriate activities, promote socialization, and may provide meals or snacks.
  • Enrichment Activities: Many programs offer additional enrichment activities beyond homework help, such as arts and crafts, sports, music, and other recreational opportunities. These activities aim to engage children and promote their social, emotional, and physical development.
  • Safety and Security: Before selecting a program, ensure that they prioritize the safety and security of the children. Ask about safety protocols, staff-to-child ratios, background checks for staff members, emergency procedures, and any other measures in place to ensure the well-being of the children.
  • Staff: The staff at before or after school daycare should be qualified and experienced in working with children. They should be able to provide a safe and nurturing environment for your child.

Frequently Asked Questions

Daycare centers often cater to children ranging from infants as young as six weeks old up to school-age children, typically around 12 years old.
Choosing the right daycare center involves considering factors such as location, operating hours, curriculum or educational approach, staff qualifications and experience, safety measures, cleanliness, and compatibility with your child's needs and preferences.
Daycare center staff typically undergo background checks and should have appropriate education, such as certifications in early childhood education or related fields. They may also receive training in child development, CPR, first aid, and behavior management.
The cost of daycare ranges between $250 - $1000 per week in the United States. Factors such as location, amenities, population, and childcare quality tend to affect the cost of daycare.
Operating hours can vary, but many daycare centers operate from early morning (around 7 or 8 a.m.) to late afternoon or early evening (around 5 or 6 p.m.). Some centers may offer extended or flexible hours to accommodate different schedules.
Yes, daycare centers are typically licensed and regulated by state agencies. Licensing requirements ensure that centers meet certain standards for safety, health, staff-to-child ratios, and other important factors.
Safety measures may include secure entry systems, supervision protocols, security cameras, emergency preparedness plans, background checks for staff, childproofing of the facility, proper sanitation practices, and adherence to health and safety regulations.
Daycare centers often offer a range of activities and programs designed to promote children's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. These may include age-appropriate play, arts and crafts, music, storytime, outdoor activities, and early learning opportunities.
Daycare centers typically have established policies and procedures for discipline and behavior management. They may use positive reinforcement, redirection, time-outs, or other appropriate strategies to guide children's behavior and promote a safe and respectful environment.
Staff-to-child ratios vary depending on the age group of the children. For infants, the ratio is typically lower, such as one staff member for every three or four infants. For older children, the ratio may be higher, such as one staff member for every ten or twelve children.
Daycare centers should have protocols in place to handle medical emergencies or illnesses. This may include trained staff who can administer basic first aid, contact emergency services if needed, and communicate with parents or guardians about any health concerns.
Some popular daycare centers may have waiting lists due to limited availability. It is recommended to inquire about the enrollment process and any waiting list procedures in advance.
Daycare centers may have specific policies and procedures for potty training. They often work closely with parents or guardians to coordinate efforts and maintain consistency between home and the daycare setting.
The enrollment process typically involves completing an application, providing required documents (such as medical records and emergency contacts), paying any necessary fees, and meeting with the daycare center staff to discuss your child's needs.
Additional fees or expenses may include registration fees, supply fees, late pickup fees, field trip costs, or fees for specialized programs or activities. It's important to inquire about all potential costs upfront.