Family child care is out-of-home paid care that is provided to a small group of unrelated children age 6 years or younger in a private residential home. The definition of family child care does not extend to unregulated, informal, or short-term care provided by a related family member, friend, or neighbor. In general, family child care homes provide care to six or fewer children age 6 years or younger. Large family child care homes, however, can serve up to 12 children and may employ additional staff to ensure that appropriate ratios are maintained. The maximum number of children served in a home-based setting varies by the age of the children and from state to state. This entry identifies the key characteristics of family child care ...

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