Simply put, day care is a trained caregiver paid to care for your baby while you work. Some parents prefer a day care center with many different rooms for each stage of your child's development and multiple caregivers in each room. Day care centers typically fall under stricter state regulations and offer greater oversight and consistency of care.
Others find a family day care more to their liking, in a home-like setting or someone actual abode. Often, the primary caregiver works alongside her family members to care for a mixed-age group of children. The pluses are lower costs, a more family-like setting and less of an institutional feel, while the cons may include less structure or oversight.
Day care covers your child care needs until your child enters kindergarten or public pre-K, if such programs are available in your area. It can be expensive but well worth it to safeguard your most precious babies.