Choosing Home Child Care That Is Right For You, What Parents Should Know.
Why Choose Licensed Home Care?
Licensed home child care is a better choice for infants and toddlers when they are being cared for outside their own home. The key to quality care for infants and toddlers is the quality of relationships – the relationship of family to child to caregiver. These relationships play an important role in early development. A small group and a home setting allow for daily
interactions with a responsive, affectionate adult as the infant/toddler learns to master the challenges of the world.
A person who has successfully completed the DCFS licensing process is demonstrating a professional level of commitment to children and child care. This is not someone “baby-sitting”but someone who sees this as her career.
What does it mean, a licensed home?
By state law, any person is subject to licensing by the Department of Children and Family Services if they regularly care for more than three unrelated children under the age of twelve.* ( this includes their own children)
Many communties support home child care providers by permitting residents to provide child care in their homes as long as they are licensed and comply with all DCFS regulations and state laws regarding home child care. Check with your community to see what standards are set for home care.
*NOTE: A caregiver who is legally exempt from licensing is caring for no more than three children under the age of twelve. ( including her own)
What should I know about the caregiver?
First and foremost, parents should remember that a home setting will be as individual and flexible as the person providing the care. The key is to find a setting that feels right for you and your child.
A licensed provider has had her home inspected and meets state standards for health and safety. The caregiver holds a current certificate in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid. Licensing also requires that all members of the household 18 or older have an FBI background check and be fingerprinted.
How will my child spend the day?
Your child deserves the best care when away from you. A quality day care home is clean and organized, with age appropriate toys. A daily schedule is posted which includes learning activities and nap times.
Like a “family” the caregiver will assist children as they learn to get along in a group. Television and video viewing are kept to a minimum. The caregiver models good health practices and nutritious snacks and meals are served.
A quality caregiver treats a child with respect, disciplines gently, and fosters independence with frequent positive interactions. Her day is devoted to the children’s needs and her attention is not diverted from them for personal chores or activities.