Choosing child care or preschool for your young child should be a positive experience for your family. Always remember that selecting child care is an important decision that strikes a balance between your needs as a busy parent and the developmental needs of your child.
Five steps to keep in mind when looking for care….
- Educate & Call—Remember it is important to be an educated consumer when examining your child care options. To find child care or preschool in Colorado you can call 1-877-338-CARE. For assistance in finding child care or preschool in Summit, Lake or Grand Counties, please call 970-406-3062 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also search online by visiting www.qualistar.org.
- Ask Questions—Once you have a list of child care providers from your local Child Care Resource & Referral, it’s time to start the interview process. Start making calls to providers in your area to narrow down your options. If providers are full, you can ask them if they keep a wait list and if there is a fee to be placed on the wait list.
- Visit—After you have narrowed your choices, visit facilities or home programs. Meet with providers or center directors and tour the facilities. Remember, programs can vary greatly from one another. The more programs you visit, the better perspective you will have on what is best for your child and your family.
- Investigate & Enroll—To make an informed decision you are encouraged to call the Division of Child Care and obtain/review provider files. Each file includes licensing history, number of children allowed to be cared for, information on past complaints, information on past inspections and any restrictions to the license. To obtain provider files you may call 303-866-5989 or 1-800-799-5876. Provider files can also be viewed online at www.cdhs.state.co.us/childcare.
- Stay Involved—Once your child is enrolled in the program of your choice, it is important to stay involved. You now need to become a partner of your child’s program. Always communicate with your provider on a regular basis. Find out how your child is doing during the day, what they are learning and how you can continue that learning process at home.
The Working Your Way through the Child Care Maze publication is a tool for parents to use when searching for quality child care. It includes information about types of child care, licensing information, why quality child care is important, questions to ask child care providers, and much more. To receive a copy of this publication please contact Catherine Schaaf at 970-406-3062 or email@example.com.
Child Care Resource & Referral is made possible in part by funding provided by the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS).