Childcare vs Daycare. Is there a difference?

A significant aspect of our society revolves around children and making sure they are safe and taken care of. As such, deciding what kind of care you would like for your child is important. One main question to ask yourself is, “what is the difference between daycare and child care?”

The main difference between daycare and childcare is that daycare is a term used for an officially licensed childcare business, while childcare is a much looser term, which does indicate that a child is being cared for, but there isn’t necessarily a professional aspect.

General differentiation between daycare and childcare 

The terms daycare and childcare are often used interchangeably.

However, the two do have a few differentiating factors that allow you to tell them apart.

As mentioned, the main difference between the two is that daycare refers to an official business dedicated to childcare.

The term childcare, however, simply refers to any situation in which a child is being cared for.

For example, a daycare would be a business where you can drop your kids off with several other children where the caretakers are licensed in their practice and the business is an official IRS registered business.

Child care, however, can simply refer to you dropping off your kids at your friends or in the care of a family member.

While this person is someone you trust to care for your child, they are not legally operating a daycare business.

As such, the difference between the two is essentially who is taking care of the children and whether they are licensed or not.

Childcare vs Daycare. Is there a difference?

  • Is a babysitter considered childcare or daycare?

While this may depend on the situation, a babysitter is generally considered childcare rather than daycare.

This is because in most cases, a babysitter is not someone who is operating an official daycare business.

Nor do most babysitters have the official training and certification to be legally considered a daycare operator.

However, if the babysitter is more of a nanny where they are running an official business and are legally trained by that state to take care of children, then the situation may be different.

However, in most cases, a babysitter will be considered a form of childcare.

  • Are there legal differences between childcare and daycare?

In the short answer, yes, there is a legal difference between childcare and daycare.

In most states, to be legally operating a daycare center, several requirements must be met.

These requirements include things such as state-mandated training, child care certifications, age minimums, as well as certain facility requirements that must be met before a daycare is allowed to operate.

If these legal requirements are not being met, a daycare is not allowed to legally operate in the United States. 

When it comes to child care, however, there are essentially no legal requirements that need to be met. Anyone can be in charge of the care of a child as long as the child’s legal guardian has permitted that person to do so.

In some cases, the person who is in charge of the child’s care is not even compensated for their work. All in all, the difference between the two is that daycare has a large number of legal precedents behind it, while childcare has essentially no legal connotations behind it.

  • Are the rates different between childcare and daycare?

Although it may depend on several circumstances, daycare will usually cost you more than childcare.

This stems from a few reasons, the first being that those working at daycare services generally have to have specific certifications and other qualifications that allow them to work there.

As such, because these people have certifications and other experiences, they will cost a bit more to hire their services.

The second reason that daycare services will generally have a higher cost is that generally, daycares offer more services than simply watching over your child.

Many offer early education services on top of the basic child care requirements.

There are even daycares across the country that offer a plethora of other odd services, such as hair cuts and doctor referral services, that may come in handy for a busy parent.

A third and final reason that daycare services will generally cost more than basic childcare is that daycare services are running a business.

As a business, a daycare service has a large number of costs outside of the labor aspect of the physical child care, which is generally the only cost that child care will account for.

Instead, a daycare service has to pay for a range of other costs, including costs related to the building of operation including rent, electricity, and water usage.

A daycare center will also have to pay taxes on the money they make, unlike those in child care who are usually paid in cash and generally don’t pay taxes on the money they make.

All of this combines to explain why daycare will generally drive a higher cost than child care will

Childcare vs Daycare. Is there a difference?

  • What is the cost difference between child care and daycare?

As has been noted, daycare is a bit more expensive than hiring normal childcare.

The question remains, however, what do they cost?

The national average cost for a daycare center is around $950 per month for babies and toddlers. Child care, however, is a different situation.

Generally, child care is carried out either by a family member or friend, neither of whom charge a significant amount.

On average, you may pay around $20 a day, or around $400 if someone like this is in charge of your child care.

However, if this is not an option for you and you instead have to pay a full-time babysitter or nanny, daycare will be the better option for you.

A full-time babysitter may cost you almost twice as much as a daycare center will in a month.

Thus, you should consider daycare as an option if you find yourself in this situation, as it may end up saving you money.

  • What type of care is right for you and your child?    

As much as I wish I could, I am unable to answer this question for you.

However, I can direct you as to the benefits of each type of care, which hopefully can help guide you in the right direction.

The benefits of daycare

Daycare is ideal for those who are looking to have their children cared for by professionals throughout the day.

Daycare is also great for anyone who wants to have their children begin their education early while they are being taken care of.

Additionally, daycare is also great for someone who is looking for consistently reliable care, as daycares have set schedules as any business does.

The benefits of child care

 The most prominent and important benefit to child care over a daycare is the flexibility aspect.

Daycares have certain hours of operation, and outside of those hours, you cannot have your children taken care of if you need to.

With child care, however, it’s usually a much more flexible option.

When that care is a family member or a babysitter, they don’t generally have set hours of operation.

Thus, if you need to, you may have the option to utilize this child care even outside of the usual hours.

Childcare vs Daycare. Is there a difference?

Related Questions

  • Are daycare businesses a good investment?

Daycare businesses are a fairly safe investment, as the need for child care will never disappear.

However, being a good investment is a fairly relative term and will depend on what you consider to be a good investment.

Daycare services have a decent profit margin of about 10%, which is up nearly 4.5% since the year 2015.

Having a decent profit margin as this is a good sign for a healthy investment, however daycare centers don’t make a significant amount of money when compared to other businesses.

The average daycare center in the US has an average profit of only about $25,000.

Thus, it is important to weigh all the aspects of what makes a business successful if you are going to determine whether a daycare service is a healthy investment or not.

  • What should you look for in a daycare?

For many parents, daycare is more than just a place to drop off their children when they are at work.

Instead, daycare should also serve as a place of learning and development.

So what should you look for in a daycare?

For one, you should look for a daycare with certifications or training in learning and early childhood development.

In most states, to be considered a daycare learning center, there is a certain amount of proper education that must be met.

Thus, searching out a daycare center with faculty who has completed this required education can ensure that your child develops properly.

Next, you should look for a daycare center with good parent reviews

Although it is fairly obvious, seeing what other parents have said about a daycare center can give you a very good idea of what kind of an impact this daycare center has had on the children it cares for.

Lastly but just as important, you should see if you can spend some time in the daycare center to see how the other children interact.

Daycare is a great time for children to develop social skills.

If the other children in the daycare however do not socialize well at all with one another, then this may be a clue that the daycare staff is not doing their job as they should.

All of these are important considerations to keep in mind when deciding a daycare center for your child.

Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.

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Childcare vs Daycare. Is there a difference?