About Childcare Categories on BPN

How BPN defines Childcare


Babysitter vs. Nanny

BPN uses the term "nanny" to refer to someone who is providing regularly scheduled care in the child's home, and "babysitter" to refer to someone who comes to the child's home occasionally, such as a "date night" on Friday or Saturday night. Nannies have chosen childcare as a career and are usually seeking full time work. Babysitters may be high school or college students, or a nanny who is picking up extra hours on the weekends. BPN offers free subscriptions to local teenagers who offer occasional babysitting.


Nannies and Nanny Shares

nanny is someone who is paid to come to your home to care for your child, usually on a regular schedule.

live-in nanny lives in your home and cares for your child in exchange for room, board, and a salary.

nanny share is an arrangement between two or more families to share the same nanny at the home of one of the children. The nanny might be caring for all the children at the same time, or dividing her time so that each family has the nanny to themselves for a shorter time. 

Home-Based Daycare

daycare is childcare for children from more than one family that takes place in the home of the childcare provider. It may be called "family daycare" or "home-based childcare" or "preschool." The State of California's official name for care in the home of the provider is "Family Child Care Home". This type of childcare requires the home to be inspected and licensed by the state. BPN does not accept postings about unlicensed daycares. See About Childcare Licensing for more information.  To search home-based daycares and read reviews, see Find Daycares & Preschools.  If you'd like to post a review of your child's daycare, find its page on the BPN website and post under "Parent reviews" (you must be logged in to the website.)  If your daycare doesn't have a page on BPN, contact us and give us their license number, and we'll make a page.  Daycares can post about openings in the Announcements newsletter.


Childcare Centers and Preschools

childcare center refers to childcare that does NOT take place in someone's home. A childcare center may accept all ages, from infants on up, or it may be a preschool that only accepts 3-5 year olds. The State of California licenses childcare centers separately from home-based daycares, and considers any program that cares for children, including a preschool or after-school program, to be a "childcare center." Requirements for a childcare center are more demanding than for home-based daycare, such as specifying the education level of the adults, space requirements per child, and the like. (see About Childcare Licensing for more information.)  To search for a preschool or childcare center, see Find Daycares & Preschools.  If you'd like to post a review of your child's preschool, find its page on the BPN website and post under "Parent reviews" (you must be logged in to the website.)  If your preschool doesn't have a page on BPN, contact us and give us their license number, and we'll make a page.  Centers and Preschools can post about openings in the Announcements newsletter.