Child Care ReferralFamily Services
Locating quality child care can be challenging
Whether you’re just beginning your search for child care, as a new parent, or you’re attempting to locate a new provider, we can help families choose child care providers that are right for you. Our staff are trained to help you find a child care provider in your area, based on your child’s needs and your preferences.
Types of childcare available are registered family childcare homes and licensed centers. The referral specialist will work with you through this process. Information and materials will also be provided about finding and choosing a quality childcare program.
Once you’re ready to contact a child care provider, here are some questions to ask:
- Do you have a suitable space for my child?
- Where are you located?
- What do you charge for child care?
- What is your daily routine?
- Do you serve meals?
- How long have you been caring for children?
- Level of education?
- Do the children watch TV?
Visit the child care provider and ask more questions:
Adult to Child Ratio. Ask how many children there are for each adult. The fewer the children for each adult, the better for your child. You want your child to get plenty of attention. The younger your child, the more important this is. Babies need an adult to child ratio of no more than 1:4 (one adult for four infants), while four-year-olds can do well with a ratio of 1:10 (one adult for 10 children).
Group Size. Find out how many children are in the group. The smaller the group, the better. Imagine a group of 25 two-year olds with five adults, compared to a group of 10 with two adults. Both groups have the same adult to child ratio. Which would be calmer and safer? Which would be more like a family?
Caregiver Qualifications. Ask about the caregivers’ training and education. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to help your child learn. Are the caregivers involved in activities to improve their skills? Do they attend classes and workshops?
Turnover. Check how long caregivers have been at the center or providing care in their homes. It’s best if children stay with the same caregiver at least a year. Caregivers who come and go make it hard on your child. Getting used to new caregivers takes time and energy that could be spent learning new things.
Accreditation. Find out if the child care provider has been accredited by the state or a national organization.