Center-based child care provides families with full-time and part-time care in settings outside of the home. Child Care Aware of America reported in 2013 that nearly 11 million children younger than age 5 are in some type of child care center setting for an average of 35 hours each week. Center-based early care and education centers can be described in terms of enrollment size, ages of children served, hours of operation, services provided, auspice and sponsorship, and revenue sources. In addition to these structural features, families can use quality indicators of licensing, participation in quality improvement systems, and accreditation status to make informed decisions regarding a particular child care center. Quality elements, including skilled teachers, high staff-to-child ratios, appropriate curricula, and active child engagement in ...

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