Chapter 2 Types of Early Childhood Programs
Copyright Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc.
The off-site center is another option. This
model is often used when several companies form
a group. Each company may not have enough
need for their own child care center. By sharing
a facility, the costs and risks are shared by all the
companies in the group.
The off-site location may be closer to the
parents’ homes. Therefore, transportation times
are shorter. If space is available, this type of
model may also serve other children from the
The vendor model allows companies to
purchase space in a child care center or several
centers. This model is ideal for small companies.
It is not as costly as opening a center. There are
no costs for start-up, investment in a building, or
center administration.
Companies respect parental choice when
the voucher model is provided. Parents receive
a voucher or coupon worth a certain amount
of money from the company. Some companies
will pay for all child care costs, while others pay
only a portion. This model may be preferred by
parents who do not live close to the work site.
Thus, it is a useful model for companies in large
One disadvantage of the voucher model is
that the money received must be declared as
income on tax returns. However, the employee
can deduct the cost of child care from federal
taxes (and state taxes where allowed).
Child care for ill children is provided by some
companies. This benefi t can take two forms. A
center may provide services for children who
are ill and cannot attend school. When this is
done, the health department as well as the state
licensing agency must be notifi ed. This works
best for children who are recovering from an
illness, but are not well enough to return to
school. The second form allows for a nurse to be
sent to a sick child’s home to provide care. This
allows the parent to go to work.
Finding a quality child care program near
home is a problem for many parents. To assist
parents in this process, some companies provide
a referral service that matches the parents’ needs
with centers. The company may hire its own
resource specialist or contract a resource and
referral agency.
Generally, parents are given a list of
community child care centers. Specifi c
information on each center is collected and given
to the parents. Included are the center’s location,
fees, hours of operation, goals, enrollment
capacity, policies, curriculum, staff qualifi cations,
and special services. Maps showing the location
of the centers are often provided to help the
parents in the selection process.
Universal PreKindergarten
Another type of early childhood education
program is called universal prekindergarten
(UPK). UPK is sponsored at the state level. These
programs are designed for three- and four-year-
old children and provide a high-quality, literary-
rich environment. Children benefi t from being
involved in this environment before they enter
kindergarten. They then start kindergarten eager
to learn and ready for success. When children
lack quality early learning experiences, they start
school at a disadvantage to others.
Studies show that pre-k has greater benefi ts
for disadvantaged children, but other children
also receive substantive benefi ts. Large gains
depend on high-quality pre-k programs.
Factors Affecting Quality
Early childhood programs vary in their
practices and program quality. Quality indicators
must be examined to ensure that the needs and
Figure 2.7 Types of Employer-Sponsored
Child Care Assistance

Company owned, on-site center

Off-site center sponsored by one or more

Company sponsored, vendor provided centers

Vouchers provided by company to subsidize care

Sick child care

Referral services
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