Child care

All childcare workers must have, or be undertaking, the minimum Certificate III in Children's Services in order to work in a centre (Recognition of Prior Learning is available to help qualify staff with many years experience, but no qualifications). (Common more advanced qualifications are 'Diploma of Children's Services' and an Early Childhood Education degree).

Rules differ between states regarding family day care in Australia. To start a Family Day Care business in Victoria, an educator should be either have a Certificate III in Children's Services or be actively working towards the same. Additionally, a current police check, current first aid training and insurance (specifically for family day care) are necessary for starting a family day care. The house should be safe for children. A group of 15 educators works under one Supervisor who must have a Diploma in Children's Services.

In Australia, Nannies are also a viable childcare option for many families, although do not currently reap the benefit of the Government Child Care Subsidy. Nannies often offer many styles of services, including casual and permanent nannies, as well as au pairs and overnight nannies.

Local governments, often municipalities, may operate non-profit day care centers.

For all providers, the largest expense is labor. Local legislation may regulate the operation of daycare centers, affecting staffing requirements. In Canada, the workforce is predominantly female (95%) and low paid, averaging only 60% of average workforce wage. Some jurisdictions require licensing or certification. Legislation may specify details of the physical facilities (washroom, eating, sleeping, lighting levels, etc.).

Kitas are typically run by public (i. e. communal) and "free" carriers (such as the churches, other religious organizations, social organizations with a background in the trade unions and profit-orientated corporations), and subsidized by the states (Länder). In this case, the care is open to the general public—e. g. a Protestant or Muslim child may claim a place in a Kita run by the catholic church.

Preschool education, unlike school and university, is not in the exclusive domain of the states. The federal government regulates daycare through the Kinder- und Jugendhilfegesetz (KJHG), which stipulates a legal claim to daycare:

Parents apply to licensed childcare in Japan through a single point of access by visiting their local municipal government, which handles all the payments and manages the master waiting list for the neighbourhood. The waiting list is not on a first-come, first-served basis but rather a priority list based on the points system. A child from single-parent families, parents with illness or disabilities and low-income households are typically prioritized over children from other households.

In Mexico, President Felipe Calderón Hinojosa created a Social Program named "Programa de Estancias Infantiles" that included more than 8,000 daycare spaces for children between 1 and 3.11 years old. This program subsidizes mothers that work and study and also single fathers in a vulnerable situation. It has a great success having more than 125,000 children over the country. This is regulated by the Social Development Minister (Secretaría de Desarrollo Social).

State legislation may regulate the number and ages of children allowed before the home is considered an official daycare program and subject to more stringent safety regulations. Each state has different regulations for teacher requirements. In some states, teachers must have an associate degree in child development. States with quality standards built into their licensing programs may have higher requirements for support staff such as teacher assistants. And in Head Start programs, by 2012, all lead teachers must have a bachelor's degree in Early Childhood Education. States vary in the standards set for daycare providers, such as teacher to child ratios.

Family childcare can also be nationally accredited by the National Association of Family Childcare if the provider chooses to go through the process. National accreditation is only awarded to those programs who demonstrate the quality standards set forth by the NAFCC.

Family child care providers care for children in the provider's own home. The children could be in a mixed age group with a low adult-to-child ratio. Care can also potentially be personalized and individual. The hours may be more flexible and the provider may offer evening and weekend care for parents who work shifts. The cost in a family child care could be significantly lower on average than that of a center.

Local legislation may regulate the operation of daycare centers, affecting staffing requirements. Laws may mandate staffing ratios (for example 6 weeks to 12 months, 1:4; 12 to 18 months, 1:5; 18 to 24 months, 1:9; et and even higher ratios for older children). Legislation may mandate qualifications of supervisors. Staff typically do not require any qualifications but staff under the age of eighteen may require supervision. Typically, once the child reaches the age of twelve, they are no longer covered by daycare legislation and programs for older children may not be regulated.

Images inside of Milton District High School in Milton, Ontario, Canada. A daycare in 2009

Local governments, often municipalities, may operate non-profit day care centers. In non-profits, the title of the most senior supervisor is typically "executive director", following the convention of most non-profit organizations.

Family childcare may be less expensive than center-based care because of the lower overhead (lower ratios mean less staff are required to maintain regulated ratios. Many family childcare home providers may be certified with the same credentials as center based staff potentially leading to higher level of care.

Franchising of family child care home facilities attempts to bring economies of scale to home daycare. A central operator handles marketing, administration and perhaps some central purchasing while the actual care occurs in individual homes. The central operator may provide training to the individual care providers. Some providers even offer enrichment programs to take the daycare experience to a more educational and professional level.

Informal childcare is a childcare system that utilizes both family and community members. This includes but is not limited to grandparents, siblings, and both children and adult neighbors. This system is inexpensive and many cultures utilize and embrace informal childcare as beneficial to a child's upbringing and education.

Children wring water from clothes at an orphanage, day care and after-school site in Paramaribo, Suriname

The quality of childcare given by a facility is generally indicated by the center's cost of enrollment. If the center charges more for the service, it will generally provide better care to the children. Centers that charge more for their services can provide quality education, more current resources, and nicer facilities. These are all helpful when trying to educate a child academically. A higher standard for teachers, such as requiring a degree in early childhood education or a degree of the like, has shown to result in improved growth in the development of a child.

For-profit day care corporations often exist where the market is sufficiently large or there are government subsidies.

The day care industry is a continuum from personal parental care to large, regulated institutions.

In the United States, childcare in regulated commercial or family childcare home setting is administered or led by teachers who may have a Child Development Associate or higher credentials. These higher credentials include Associate, Bachelor, and even master's degrees in the field of Early Childhood Education (ECE). Although childcare professionals may obtain a degree, many states require that they attend workshops yearly to upgrade their knowledge and skill levels. Many day cares require a teacher to obtain a certain amount of training. For example, Texas requires a minimum of 25 hours a year, and the first year as a teacher, you are required to have 50 hours.