Types of Child Care Providers
Family Child Care
Family child care is defined as child-care services provided in the private residence of a registered family child-care provider to no fewer than three and no more than five children at any one time. A family child-care provider means a person at least 18 years old who has successfully completed the application process, the required trainings, home inspections and received a certificate of registration. The certificate is issued for the home, which is listed as a child-care site, not an individual.
4CS of Passaic County recruits, trains, inspects and registers the homes of those interested in becoming self-employed family child-care providers in Passaic County. 4CS also monitors registered family child-care homes for continued compliance with state regulations.
In New Jersey, family child care is voluntary registration of a home in which child-care services are provided.
Family-Friend-Neighbor Child Care
Parents have the choice of child-care services for their children. If they prefer not to use a licensed child-care center or registered family child-care home, parents participating in child-care subsidy programs may select a person of their choice. A family member, friend or neighbor can provide child-care services either in their home or the home of the parent.
Self-selected individuals providing child-care service must meet mandated program requirements as specified in federal guidelines indicated in the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG). The child-care resource and referral agency in each county is responsible for ensuring the mandated requirements are successfully completed, including background checks of caregivers and care-site household members, training and home inspections of designated child-care sites.
Licensed Child Care Centers
Licensed by the state of New Jersey, these facilities are inspected every two years and must meet basic health, safety, program and staffing requirements. They can care for six or more children from the age of 6 weeks to 13 years. There are many types of licensed child care centers, including but not limited to infant/toddler programs, early care and education programs and school-age programs. Licensed centers also may choose to meet more rigorous, research-based or accreditation standards. (There also are license-exempt centers, such as programs that are part of a public school district or private school.)
Head Start & Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start programs support the mental, social and emotional development of children from birth to age 5. In addition to education services, programs provide children and their families with health, nutrition, social and other services.
School District Preschool Programs
School districts provide research-based preschool programs for 3- and 4-year-olds, that may be located within a school district site, a private provider or a local Head Start agency.