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Child Care Glossary

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Read aloud

The purpose of this activity is to expose children to a variety of books and to inspire a love for reading.

Receptive language skills

The ability to process and understand others’ spoken or written words.


In the child care field, the process of helping a family or child care provider access a service. For example, locating quality child care for a parent, offering provider information and training, or offering financial assistance information.

Regulated child care

Child care facilities and homes that comply with either a state's regulatory system or another system of regulation. A related term is "licensed child care," which often refers to a particular level or standard of regulation.

Relative care

Child care provided by extended family members either within the child's home or at the relative's home. These forms of child care are often referred to as informal care.

Resource and referral agency

A local organization who gives parents information about local child care centers or family child care homes when researching child care options. They also may provide training for child care providers, administer child care subsidy, and/or work with the community to increase public awareness of the need for child care services.

Respite care

A service that provides a temporary break for parents caring for their children. Types of respite may include a home health nurse for an ill child or an individual who cares for a child while a parent takes to time run errands or attend appointments.