Family day care is a major source of out-of-home care today for millions of young children in North America. Its impact on early childhood development, particularly for infants and toddlers, cannot be underestimated, and yet it is still the least researched and described form of non-relative care. It is informal, ""invisible"", but still familiar and essential to large numbers of the public. This volume brings together current research and thought on family day care, from both the United States and Canada, presenting the professional literature and multidisciplinary reports in a way designed to maximise the usefulness of the information for programme planners and policy makers. The contributors to ""Family Day Care"" represent the disciplines of child development and child care, demography, developmental psychology, economics, education, family studies and sociology. Their chapters pull together, in one volume, reviews and analyses that: place family day care in a historical, demographic, social, and economic context in both Canada and the United States; synthesise current thinking on the policies, organisation, practices and effects of family day care in North America; delineate the critical issues of family day care for researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers, particularly as they relate to infant and toddler development; and draw out the practical and policy issues that warrant further research and analysis. This book should be of interest to the international research community in education and development and to policy planners throughout North America who need to understand, establish and sustain effective systems of family day care.