Glossary of Dependent Care Terms
A national approval system for high quality child care centers.
Centers successfully meeting accreditation criteria receive official
recognition from the National Association for the Education of Young
Children (NAEYC). These criteria represent the current consensus
of the early childhood profession regarding the definition of a
high quality program for young children. Accreditation offers consumers
a means of identifying quality programs. Accreditation also exists
for family child care, though the criteria are currently under revision.
Adult Day Program
A program offering socialization and supervision for elders who
are somewhat frail physically or mentally. May include recreational
activities, a noon meal and the opportunity to interact socially
with other people. Programs range from such social models to health
based models offering more intensive nursing care, physical therapy,
or a focus on care for special populations such as Alzheimer's patients.
Programs and services for parents or caregivers whose regular care
arrangement is unavailable on a given day due to either unanticipated
situations such as child, elder or provider illness or anticipated
situations such as provider vacations and school holidays. Term
encompasses both emergency care and care for mildly ill children/elders.
Programs may be offered by the regular care arrangement, such as
get-well rooms in child care centers, in the community, at the workplace,
or in the home of the child/elder.
Child Care Center
New centers typically serve approximately 100-150 children, infants
through school age. New centers will offer full and part-time care,
vacation/holiday care, summer care, backup care, parent support
programs, and family supportive policies. All new centers will meet
or exceed NAEYC accreditation standards.
On-site or near-site centers
Companies may contract with a not-for-profit or a for-profit organization
to run a center for company employees, own and operate their own
facility, or construct a center and donate it to non-profit employee-operated
are created by a group of employers, sometimes together with a community
agency. The group may form a not-for-profit corporation to fund
and run a center conveniently located to all firms contributing
to the consortium.
Community-Based Home Care for Elders
To support an elder's functioning in their own or a caregiver's
residence, outside of a residential facility. Can include volunteer
in-home companions, transportation services, adult day programs,
homemakers, home health aids, home delivered meals and other services.
Family Child Care/Family Day Care
Care for a small number of children offered in the home of the provider.
Regulations vary regarding exemptions for registration and upper
limits of children permitted. Most states which license or register
such homes permit the care of up to six children in a home with
one caregiver. Some states also permit group family child care homes
to care for larger numbers of children if another provider is present.
In-Home Child Care
Care in a child's own home by someone the parent has employed -
such as a baby-sitter, housekeeper, live-in student or nanny.
A program can be called intergenerational if it (1) provides care
for both children and elders; (2) uses elders as staff in child
care programs or (3) uses children to visit, interact with, or assist
elders. Center-based programs include scheduled interaction between
children and adults. Educational programs encourage elders and children
to complete projects and activities together.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children is
the pre-eminent professional association for child care directors,
teachers, and other professionals in the early childhood education
field. The organization is dedicated to improving the quality of
programs available to children ages birth through eight. NAEYC has
over 70,000 members nationwide.
Programs must meet established standards. Important quality indicators
for dependent care programs include staff experience and training,
staff-child and staff-elder ratios, group size, parent involvement,
and developmental appropriateness of programs and activities.
Training and accreditation courses are designed to "raise the bar"
by improving overall level of quality to meet an established standard
for children, in addition to better programs. Research shows that
staff turnover and recruitment as well as the responsiveness of
the program needs of working parents are enhanced through these
Resource and Referral Program (R&R)
A service provided by an employer. Offers information, counseling,
resource development, referrals and publications to employees seeking
child care for children or elder care resources for parents or older
relatives. The service is provided through community-based agencies
having broad knowledge of local child and elder care resources and
serving as the focal point for recruitment and training of providers.
Programs that assist family caregivers by offering regular or occasional
breaks from caregiving responsibilities. May occur with volunteers
or paid workers in the home, adult day programs, or overnight in
nursing homes or hospitals.
Before- and after-school programs take care of school-age children
in a variety of settings such as elementary schools, community centers,
or existing child care centers. These programs usually cover the
daytime hours when school is not in session and may run during summers,
school vacations, holidays, and snow days.
Programs for school-age children during the days when schools are
typically closed but most businesses are in operation. Includes
full week vacations such as spring break as well as one day holidays
(Presidents' Day) and parent conference days.