Four Things to Consider When Choosing Childcare

There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a childcare option that best suits your family’s needs. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure that your children are cared for in a safe and well-structured environment.

Start the Search Early

It may take some time to find a childcare solution that fits your needs, and if you wait too long to start looking, you may discover that some of the options you were considering are no longer available and your child may be waitlisted.

childcareUse Local Resources

The local Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) agency is operated by the Southeastern Indiana Economic Opportunity Corporation (SIEOC) and serves a fourteen county area in southeastern Indiana, meaning they have extensive knowledge of childcare possibilities in the areas where you live and/or work.

The counties served by SIEOC’s CCR&R program are: Clark, Dearborn, Decatur, Harrison, Floyd, Franklin, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Ohio, Ripley, Scott, Switzerland, and Washington counties. Call SIEOC at 812-755-8558 or email sieoc@sieoc.org to learn more about this resource. CCR&R can provide information about local childcare options, licensing requirements, and more. They can also determine whether or not your family qualifies for any financial assistance for child care.

Ask your neighbors, co-workers, family, and friends about the childcare facilities their families use.

Visit Facilities

Once you’ve gotten a short list of potential childcare locations, you’ll want to visit each of them. Observe how the children behave, how the childcare providers interact with the children, and how safe the facility appears. Ask about the caregiver’s training and education. How long have the caregivers been providing care in that location? Is the provider accredited by a national organization? What kind of safety training have the caregivers had? What is the adult to child ration? For infants, there will ideally be no more than four infants for one adult; for older children, there should ideally be no more than ten children to one adult.

Check References

Ask for names of parents of children who are currently enrolled or have been enrolled previously and speak to them about the facility and caregivers. Check carefinderindiana.org for inspection results.

Check out these resources for more information about choosing childcare:

http://www.sieoc.org/2012/index.php/childcare-resource-a-referral/ccrar-locations

http://www.iaccrr.org/default.cfm?page=choosing-care

http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians/child-care-101/5-steps-to-choosing-care

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