The Children’s Services Industry

The number of for-profit establishments has
grown rapidly in response to demand for
child care services.

Today’s child day care needs are met in many different ways. The options are: care in a child’s home, care in an organized child care center, or care in a provider’s home, also known as family child care. Older children also may receive child day care services when they are not in school, generally through before and after-school programs or private summer school programs. With the increasing number of households in which both parents work full time, this industry has been one of the fastest growing in the U.S. economy.

Two main types of child care make up the child day care services industry: center-based care and family child care. Formal child day care centers include preschools, child care centers, and Head Start centers. Family child care providers care for children in their home for a fee and are the majority of self-employed workers in this industry, which does not include occasional babysitters or persons who provide unpaid care in their homes for the children of relatives or friends.

The for-profit sector of this industry includes centers that operate independently or as part of a local or national chain. Nonprofit child day care organizations may provide services in religious institutions, YMCAs and other social and recreation centers, colleges, public schools, social service agencies, and worksites ranging from factories to office complexes. The number of for-profit establishments has grown rapidly in response to demand for child care services. Within the nonprofit sector, there has been strong growth in Head Start, the federally funded child care program designed to provide disadvantaged children with social, educational, and health services.

  • The Children’s Day Care Services Industry had revenue of over $35 billion in 2009
  • The daycare center has established itself as a mandatory component of the US economy serving over 12 million children under the age of 6.
  • Recent findings report that almost 66% of US children attend preschool.
  • There are close to 750,000 Children’s Day Care businesses in the US.
  • Since 2007, labor force participation rates of women older than 40 years have increased, resulting in parents opting for child-care services.
  • In 2010, women are projected to account for 48% of the labor force, with the overwhelming majority requiring day care services.
  • According to a FRAN Data 2007 report, child-related industries experienced in excess of 25 percent growth in number of franchised units the prior three years.