The day care industry is expanding. There are now more than 100,000 licensed child-care centers and 250,000 licensed family day care homes across the United States.
The market for day care increases every year as the working mother in society increasingly return to work to contribute financially to the ongoing household expenses. Day care centers have now proven to be a lucrative niche for owner operators, especially those who have purchased franchises. The day care industry is expanding. There are now more than 100,000 licensed child-care centers and 250,000 licensed family day care homes across the United States.
An overall increase in professionalism has helped to enhance the reputation of the child care and day care field. Only 20-30 years ago, child care was a cottage industry operating out of remodeled houses, granny flats or small business shop fronts. Early centers were essentially baby-sitting facilities. Today's day care centers, frequently part of regional or national chains, are larger and more professionally run. Because parents want their children to get educational services, many centers require that their caregivers have early childhood education degrees. The day care industry is regulated by state law, and sometimes also by county or city, and the regulations vary widely by state.
The day-care center industry has changed a lot over the past 15 years, and industry professionals are predicting that it will change even more by the year 2010. Family-run day care centers seem to be holding their own because they are especially popular for infants and younger toddlers whose parents are looking for the family style influence. However, the smaller commercial centers are disappearing, due to difficulties in meeting increased government regulation, and buyouts by regional or national chains. The regional and national daycare chains will no doubt continue to grow.