Child care centers
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Child care centers are usually located in commercial buildings. Centers are larger and care for more children than family child care providers. They are usually divided into groups or classrooms of similarly aged children.
Child care centers typically have many staff members who are overseen by a director. They may be privately operated for profit by chains or individual owners or operated by nonprofit agencies such as churches, public schools, and government agencies.
All states have regulations for licensed centers, but not all child care centers are licensed. The question of whether a child care center is required to be licensed or is license-exempt depends on the requirements in your state. Licensed centers are required to follow a set of basic health and safety requirements, and they are monitored to make sure they are following the requirements.
Some examples of center-based programs that may not be required to be licensed include the following:
Early childhood programs operated by schools
School-age before-and afterschool programs
Faith-based programs, including Parent’s Day Out programs
Part-time programs, including some nursery schools, preschools, and prekindergarten programs
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