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Choose a learning environment that fits your educational desires as well as family's needs

Settings for early childhood education can vary greatly. Learn about the various types and what makes them unique.

African American mother homeschooling her two african american daughters, arts and crafts

Family Child Care Homes

Licensed family child care homes (FCCH) refer to child care in an individual’s private home. The home may be rented, leased, or owned. Because family child care is home-based, children tend to be cared for in a family-like setting with all the daily activities usually associated with home.


There are small FCCHs which can serve up to 6 children and large FCCHs that can serve up to 14 children. A family child care home is a business offering a professional service. FCCHs can provide care to infants, toddlers, and preschool aged children. 

Center Based Child Care

This type of early learning and care program is often a facility that serves infants, toddlers, preschoolers on a part-day or full-day schedule. These centers are sometimes called “preschool programs” that are licensed by the state. There are planned educational activities and children may be grouped by age or placed in mixed age groupings.


Center based care providers can be licensed to care for infants, toddlers, and/or preschoolers, and they are usually open all day. Centers vary in size but are usually larger than family child care homes. Centers can be Subsidized and Public or Private Pay. 

early education teacher instructing a small group of diverse children
woman helping 2 small children with a motor skill building activity

Family, Friend, and Neighbor Child Care

This type of early learning and care setting is typically provided by a relative, friend, or neighbor on a part-day or full-day schedule. Child care can be provided for children from only one family in addition to the provider’s own family. This type of environment is not licensed.

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