Child care (or "childcare", "child minding", "daycare",or "preschool") is the caring for and supervision of a child or children, usually from newborn to age thirteen. Child care is the action or skill of looking after children by a day-care center, babysitter, or other providers. Child care is a broad topic covering a wide spectrum of contexts, activities, social and cultural conventions, and institutions. The majority of child care institutions that are available require that child care providers have extensive training in first aid and are CPR certified. In addition, background checks, drug testing, and reference verification are normally a requirement. Child care can cost up to $15,000 for one year in the United States. Approximately six out of every ten children, or almost 12 million children, age five and younger, are being jointly cared for by parents and early childhood educators, relatives, or other child-care providers.
It is traditional in Western society for children to be taken care of by their parents or their legal guardians. In families where children live with one or both of their parents, the childcare role may also be taken on by the child's extended family. If a parent or extended family is unable to care for the children, orphanages and foster homes are a way of providing for children's care, housing, and schooling.
The two main types of child care options for employed parents needing childcare are centre-based care (including creches, daycare, and preschools) and home-based care (also known as nanny or family daycare). As well as these licensed option's parents may also choose to find their own caregiver or arrange childcare exchanges/swaps with another family.