While all child care centers are organized to care for young children, there is diversity in the ownership of these centers. Most centers in the United States are operated by nonprofit organizations. In Canada, it is the same story, with 80 percent of the child care centers operated on a not-for-profit basis— usually by community-based or parent organizations. Although people hear a lot about national child care chains, most of the for-profit child care centers are locally owned. The ownership composition of child care centers in the United States is shown in Figure 3.1.
There are advantages in having so many different types of child care centers. Not only do parents have a choice, but child care workers also can choose the work environment that is most appealing to them.