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There are basically five forms of child care: Center-based or group care, Family daycare, In-home Nanny care, Relative care, and when parents provide the care themselves. Child care is regulated differently in every state, and sometimes even in different parts of the state. Licensed facilities are inspected on the average of once a year to be certain they continue to meet requirements. The maximum numbers of children grouped according to ages and the minimum staff required vary slightly.

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There are certain pieces of basic information that must be provided for caregivers, whether using a sitter for the afternoon or enrolling your child at a weekday day care center. This goes double for a child with special needs.

While it's not necessary to divulge every detail of your child's history, you should make sure the provider has enough information on hand for their day-to-day care -- and in case of emergency.

Your phone number and a doctor's phone number are just the minimum. Refer to this sample checklist (mid-page) as a good starting point. Once created, keep the list saved on your computer where it's easy to update and print more as needed.

Child Care Provider Checklist originally appeared on About.com Child Care on Wednesday, February 9th, 2011 at 16:25:50.

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After returning to work from maternity leave, many new mothers will start to worry about their company's "mommy track", or the work-life balance your company gives working mothers. Balancing your home life with the rigors of a pressure-packed work environment is not for everyone and talking to other working moms in the company will provide a good idea of what the future will hold.

If the company you currently work at seems too demanding and would take away from what you need to do at home, perhaps a more easy going employer and a relaxed working environment will give you what you need to provide for your family while having the time and energy to be a great mom at home.

Tips for New Working Moms originally appeared on About.com Child Care on Saturday, January 15th, 2011 at 10:00:09.

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The holiday hype may be over for most families, but luckily for everyone, there are still endless opportunities for having winter fun with the family.  Here are some activities and ideas you can do while it's cold outdoors.  For starters, how about setting family fun goals for 2010?

Winter Fun with the Family originally appeared on About.com Child Care on Monday, January 3rd, 2011 at 10:10:42.

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