Steps To Finding Good Child Care - Quality Indicators
We recommend that you visit any provider that you are considering taking your child/children to. Look for what we call Quality Indicators:
-Health and Safety Standards - There should be frequent hand washing & play & eating areas should be regularly cleaned and disinfected.
-Credentials - In licensed homes and centers the teachers should have at least their Bachelor's Degree. Caregivers with degrees and/or special training in working with children will be better able to help your child learn.
-Staff Turnover Rate - A low turnover rate indicates a more stable environment for the children as apposed to a constantly changing group of adults.
-Accreditation - Find out if the child careprovider has been accredited by a national organization. Providers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than most state licensing requirements.The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) are the two largest organizations that accredit child care programs.
-Open Door Policy - See that the child care provider welcomes you being involved in what your child is learning and are receptive to questions you may have concerning their procedures.
-Family Involvement- Even if you can't get time off from work during the day, you can still check in at drop-off and pick-up times. Ask the caregiver how things are going, and how your child is doing.
Visiting and participating in events at your child's provider sends a strong message. It tells your child and your child's caregiver that you think what your child is doing and learning is important.
-Child to Adult Ratio - For the Safety of all the children there is a minimum number of adults needed to supervise the children. Make sure that you are comfortable with the total number of children in the center or home. Some parents prefer that there be more children for more social contact, while others prefer a lower number of other children to ensure more one-on-one contact with the teacher. 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 ten children).
CHILD TO ADULT RATIOS FOR LICENSED CHILD CARE CENTERS
Age Max number of children supervised by 1 person Max number of children in 1group
Infant 4 8 Toddler 5 10 2 years 5 10 30-36 months 7 14 3 years 10 20 4 years 12 24 5 years and older 15 30
CHILD TO ADULT RATIOS FOR LICENSED HOMES
Licensed Homes are not required to separate children based on age groups and often have mixed age environments.
The general ratio rule for Licensed Homes is:
-Licensed Home Facilities with a license capacity of 12 children require a minimum of two adults supervising.
-Licensed Home Facilities with a license capacity under 12 children require one adult supervising.
-The only time one care caregiver can care for 12 children is when ALL children are three of age or older
The following points are good ways to measure the quality of a child care home or center.
Help Paying For Child Care
There are several options for financial child care assistance available to parents. Below is local resource information for these options. If you have additional questions about your eligibility for aid or need updated contact numbers please call our toll free CCRR number at: 1-866-582-2229
*Contact your local Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) / Voucher Program to see if you are eligible for assistance in paying for child care.
LAKE COUNTY VOUCHER PROGRAM 219-757-1957
PORTER COUNTY VOUCHER PROGRAM 219-757-1957
La PORTE COUNTY VOUCHER PROGRAM 219-879-6950
-Ask providers if they offer a "sliding fee scale". This means that the provider may adjust the price of care based on your economic need and income. Not all providers offer this, but it doesn't hurt to ask!
-Ask providers if the have scholarships available for children of families that have an economic need.
-Ask providers if they offer discounts for multiple children in the same family attending the same child care facility. For example: you might pay the full rate for one child and then a discounted rate for each additional child in the same family.
Don't forget to take advantage of the EARNED INCOME CREDIT (EIC) when you file your taxes! Ask your tax preparer about this credit, you may be eligible to get back a portion of your child care expenses.
YOU AND YOUR CHILD DESERVE QUALITY CHILD CARE!
State Wide Links
Locate child care through the Indiana Family & Social Services Administration
https://secure.in.gov/apps/fssa/carefinder/index.html National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies The National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation's leading voice for child care. We work with more than 800 state and local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies nationwide. These agencies help ensure that families in 99 percent of all populated ZIP codes in the United States have access to high-quality, affordable child care. To achieve our mission, we lead projects that increase the quality and availability of child care professionals, undertake research, and advocate child care policies that positively impact the lives of children and families.. http://www.naccrra.org/
Indiana Association for Child Care Resource & Referral A network of communities that support the highest quality of child care for all Indiana Families. http://www.iaccrr.org/
Child Care Aware Child Care Aware Parent Network is a new free membership organization specifically for parents and those who care for and about children. http://childcareaware.org/en/
Deaf Services, Inc. Responds to the needs of deaf and hard of hearing individuals livings in Lake and Porter Counties through Sign language interpreting Services, Case management Services, Sign Language classes, Sale of Assisted Listening Devices, Girl's Youth Program, Educational Workshop/presentations.
First Steps Insures that infants and toddlers experiencing developmental delays or disabilities have access to early intervention services close to home when they need them.
Hoosier Healthwise Hoosier Healthwise is a health insurance program for Indiana children, pregnant women, and low-income families.
WIC The Women, Infants, and Children Program (WIC) is a special supplemental food and nutrition program for eligible pregnant women, breast feeding mothers, infants, and children under five years of age.
Campagna Academy Serves junior high and high school males and females with behavioral/emotional problems, at risk of residential placement or ready for reintegration into community, or with special or regular education needs.
MOMS Club of Cedar Lake/Crown Point Area Supports at-home, work-from-home, and part-time employed mothers of children of all ages in Cedar Lake, Hanover Township, Crown Point, Winfield, Lakes of the Four Seasons, Lake Dalecarlia, Lowell and Hebron.
Northwest Indiana CYO Provides opportunities for young people to develop strong moral character, self-esteem and leadership qualities. through activities of a social, educational, recreational and athletic nature.
Birthright of Valparaiso Provides caring, non-judgmental support to girls and women who are distressed by an unplanned pregnancy.
Family and Youth Services Bureau of Porter County Valparaiso Residential program for troubled children ages 13-17;a program for adolescents who have been found delinquent; and a school-like day treatment program for students in grades 7-9. after-school and in-school groups, summer camp and special sessions for children ages 5-17 who need extra support and guidance in managing their lives; INDEPENDENT LIVING classes, MENTORING programs and CRISIS COUNSELING.
Bona Vista Programs, Inc. Servicing: Adams, Blackford, Fulton, Grant, Howard, Huntington, Jay, Miami, Tipton, Wabash and Wells Counties (800)493-3231 http://www.bonavista.org
Community Alliance and Services for Young Children Servicing: Clay, Greene, Monroe,Montgomery, Morgan, Owen, Parke, Putnam, Sullivan, Vermillion and Vigo Counties (800) 886-3952 http://www.casyonline.org