Many of the larger schools now offer daycare services to their students, staff, and faculty. However, if space allows, non-students and people not affiliated with the school can also sign up for daycare for their children (for example, parents who live on or near campus, are not school employees, and need daycare facilities).
Besides the traditional daycare services of playtime, meals, and sleep time, it can also take on a more formal structure, with education, child development, discipline, and even preschool education falling into the fold of services. Some of the larger schools with large housing complexes on campus will often have preschools and primary schools nearby, and the university or college daycare will often be affiliated with those entities to provide a continuum of services and education.
Usually, daycare is housed with the Department of Housing or Ancillary Services. Often, the school subsidizes the operation of the service. The remainder of revenue is raised primarily from daycare fees with some government funding.
Full-time daycare refers to daily (Monday to Friday) daycare during regular working hours. This is the most popular daycare option for working families. Part-time daycare refers to semi-daily daycare during regular working hours, such as Monday/Wednesday/Friday, Tuesday/Thursday, etc. This is useful for parents who works part time themselves. After-school daycare is specialized for older children who need a place to go after their regular school day if their parents are not home until later that evening.
Daycare fees vary depending on the type of program, the age of the child, and the status of the parent. Higher fees are associated with very young children (infants), clients who are not affiliated with the school, and full-time daycare requirements. Lower fees are associated with older children who do not require as much individual attention, school students or staff, and part-time or after-school daycare requirements. Fees range from $300 to $1500 per month, depending on the level of service.
Parent-duty positions are available in some daycare facilities. This is a weekly commitment in which the parents work in the daycare program (eg. preparing snacks, cleaning up after hours, etc.). In return for this service, parents often receive a small fee reduction in exchange for the hours worked.
Special needs children
Some daycare facilities are equipped for special needs and disabled children. This can range from the addition to ramps to allow access for wheelchair-bound children, to having special staff on-hand for autistic or developmentally-challenged children. Some daycares have special programs just for these children, while other daycares incorporate special needs children into their regular programs.