Choosing the right child care arrangement for your child is an important decision involving numerous considerations. While this information may not answer all of your questions about choosing child care, it offers some helpful guidelines. The following should help in your search:
- Start early: Take the time to become an educated consumer by learning about available child care options in your community. Here at Children’s Council, we can offer a list of referrals, or you can find a childcare through our Child Care Finder.
- Visit several programs: Shop around so that you have a good sense of what your choices are and what may be available to you.
- Take time to thoroughly interview the childcare programs you are considering: Ask questions about the provider's experience and background. Discuss their philosophy on child education. Remember that these people will be the primary caregivers for your child during the hours you are not there.
- Child care centers and family childcares are licensed: Call Community Care Licensing at 1(844) 538‐8766 to find out if a provider is licensed or if he/she has had any complaints or licensing violations in the past years. Some types of caregivers are license‐exempt, such as those who come into your own home. If you are interested in having such a person get a background check, please visit www.trustline.org for more information.
- Inspect health and safety conditions: Is the facility clean and free of safety and health hazards? Are diapering and eating areas kept separate? Does the provider wash their hands and the children’s hands before and after changing diapers, blowing noses, eating, going to the bathroom, etc.? Are there established illness policies? Is there a disaster plan? Are toys sanitized daily? Are children’s allergies known and posted? Can the caregiver(s) maintain visual contact with all the children at one time?
- Attend a family workshop with us! Our family workshops will help guide you through what to look for in a child care program and setting, and our Resource and Referral specialists can assist with any questions or insights you may have. Register for a class here.
- Stay involved: A solid, on-going and communicative relationship between you and your child care provider is important to the care your child receives.