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Looking For Child Care?


Are you looking for child care for your child?

Some children thrive in larger programs, while others do better in a smaller setting. You know your child best. Choose the type of child care that will be right for your child. Check several programs before deciding.

Here are the different types of child care:

Family Home Programs – These are programs in the home of a family home provider. Caregivers who care for more than three children, other than their own, are required to be registered with the state. Family home providers can care for up to six children, not including their own children. They have planned activities on their daily schedule and need to meet the state health and safety requirements.

Family Group Homes – These programs can be in homes or in another facility. There are at least two caregivers and no more than twelve children. They are required to be licensed and meet state regulations.

Child Care Centers – Programs with more than twelve children are considered center programs. They must be licensed and meet state guidelines for staff, health, and safety requirements.

Relative/neighbor caregivers – These caregivers are someone you know, perhaps a relative or a friend, who is willing to care for your child in her home. You and your child may feel good about this arrangement because you know the caregiver and are familiar with her home. To prevent misunderstandings, it is important to find out about activities, schedules, and payment requirements ahead of time and to have it in writing, even with someone you know.

The Penn State Cooperative Extension Better Kid Care Program has information on children's issues for early childhood educators, child care providers, and parents on the Better Kid Care Web site at: www.betterkidcare.psu.edu.

 

Before and After School

School will be starting soon and it’s time to make plans for child care for your school-age child. Find a program that is right for older children. They need activities and schedules that differ from preschoolers’ activities and schedules.

Some things to consider:

• Make sure the caregiver has training and experience with school-age children.

• See if the children are involved in planning the activities on the daily schedule.

• Find out if there are materials for creative activities and books to read.

• Are there places for both indoor and outdoor active play?

• Do the children have choices of activities to do?

• Check the schedule to see if there is time for the children to unwind after a long day at school. They need a chance for active play before starting on homework or doing quiet activities.

• See if breakfast is offered if your child will need to eat before school in the morning.

• Find out if nutritious after-school snacks are served each day.

• Is there a place to keep backpacks, books, or other school items near the door?

The Penn State Cooperative Extension Better Kid Care Program has information on children's issues for early childhood educators, child care providers, and parents on the Better Kid Care Web site at: www.betterkidcare.psu.edu.

Nancy Wilson, Better Kid Care Program Assistant

Penn State Better Kid Care Program

253 Easterly Parkway

State College, PA 16801


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