Additionally, legislation typically defines what constitutes daycare (e.g., so as to not regulate individual babysitters). It may specify details of the physical facilities (washroom, eating, sleeping, lighting levels, etc.). The minimum window space may be such that it precludes day cares from being in a basement. It may specify the minimum floor space per child (for example 2.8 square metres) and the maximum number of children per room (for example 24). It may mandate minimum outdoor time (for example 2 hours for programs 6 hours or longer). Legislation may mandate qualifications of supervisors. Staff typically do not require any qualifications but staff under the age of eighteen may require supervision. Some legislation also establishes rating systems, the number and condition of various toys, and documents to be maintained.[68] Typically[citation needed], once children reach the age of twelve, they are no longer covered by daycare legislation and programs for older children may not be regulated.

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Yet what American children need is not a compromise between freedom and collectivism, but a full window shift in precisely the opposite direction: decrusting employment and child-care regulations to give families more freedom to care for their children according to their own preferences, strong governmental preferences for marriage and self-sufficient child raising, and a cultural shift to make it clear that families should be responsible for their own children, and that we expect people to make children only when they are capable of caring for those children without stealing the fruits of other people’s labor. What that requires is not so much money as it does marriage.
The vast majority of childcare is still performed by the parents, in-house nanny or through informal arrangements with relatives, neighbors or friends. For example, in Canada, among two parent families with at least one working parent, 62% of parents handle the childcare themselves, 32% have other in-home care (nannies, relatives, neighbours or friends) and only 6.5% use a formal day care center.[63]

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