Chapter 2 Types of Early Childhood Programs
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is designed to meet the child’s basic nutrition,
health, and safety needs. The curriculum
emphasizes the whole child including his or her
social, emotional, cognitive, and physical needs,
and self-esteem.
Most child care centers provide for larger
groups of children than family child care homes.
They operate on a schedule that is convenient for
working parents. Many child care centers open
early in the morning and remain open until six
or seven o’clock in the evening. Some centers
provide care for children 24 hours per day. For
parents whose children need care during the
evening or early morning hours, this service is
most convenient.
The program provided by a child care center
depends on the philosophy of the center and the
educational background and skills of the staff.
State licensing rules also infl uence the program.
Ideally, the program should meet the child’s
needs in all areas of development. The focus
should be on the whole child and include a
balance of engaging activities. Brain development
is fostered in an environment that offers a variety
of learning experiences.
Montessori Schools
In the early 1900s, Maria Montessori
developed her own method of education. She was
the fi rst woman in Italy to receive a degree in
medicine. Early in her career, she was an assistant
doctor at a clinic that served children with mental
Montessori developed her theory of education
while working with and observing these children.
This theory stated children learn best by being
Child Care
Centers 13.4%
Nursery or
Preschool 6.0%
Head Start/
School 5.6%
Parents 21.3%
Grandparents 23.7%
Other Relative 7.4%
Child’s Home
(non-relative) 3.7%
Family Child Care
(Providers Home) 7.6%
Siblings 2.6%
Figure 2.2 This chart illustrates the percentage of parents who chose each type of child care.
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The National Association for Family Child Care
(NAFCC) is a professional organization for
family child care providers. It promotes high-
quality early child care and education. NAFCC
is committed to improving the awareness and
quality of child care. It provides the only national
accreditation system for family child care.
Training and health assessments are required
for accreditation. Other requirements include
criminal background checks and an observation
to verify that standards are met.
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