Child Care Options
If you are looking for child care, you’ve come to the right place. There are lots of child care options available. BANANAS is here to guide you toward the best fit for your family.
Family Child Care Homes: Large and Small
These state-regulated child cares operate in a provider’s home. Some function like nursery school programs while others welcome children into a home as part of the family. Family child care providers are not required to have any formal education. They are mandated to take 16 hours of health and safety training, which is divided into 8 hours of CPR and First Aid and 8 hours of Preventive Health education. Providers need a fingerprint clearance and a TB test.
Small Family Child Care Homes provide care to no more than 8 children. Large Family Child Care Homes provide care to no more than 14 children and are required to hire a full-time assistant.
- Benefit to Parents: Hours are typically more flexible than state-licensed centers.
Child Care Centers: Nursery Schools and Preschools
These state-licensed programs vary greatly. They all operate in non-home settings and the majority of them include a curriculum and are staffed by individuals with educational backgrounds in early childhood development. Many centers accept children once they have been toilet-trained, but there are a growing number of centers that offer care for infants and toddlers.
- Benefit to Parents: Care is typically offered on a full-time schedule.
In-Home Caregivers: Nannies and Babysitters
This type of child care is offered by providers who travel to a family’s home to care for the children who live there. Nannies tend to care for children on an ongoing basis, working multiple days a week, and stays with the child from infancy until their transition into kindergarten. In some instances, a nanny may live in a family’s home for room and board plus a salary. Babysitters typically provide care as needed.
In-home caregivers are not regulated or licensed by the state. Parents are encouraged to check for background screenings by calling TrustLine at 800-822-8490 or going to www.trustline.org.
- Benefit to Parents: Individualized care is tailored to children living in the same home.
These child care arrangements are set up by two or more families who jointly These child care arrangements are set up by two or more families who jointly hire a caregiver to work in their homes. This tends to be more expensive than family child care homes, but less expensive than a single family hiring an in-home caregiver.
This type of arrangement is not regulated or licensed by the state. Families are urged to follow the same guidelines as when hiring a nanny or babysitter.
- Benefit to Parents: The cost is less expensive than hiring individual in-home care.
Supported and Parent Lead Playgroups
Supported playgroups are coordinated and lead by trained early childhood workers. They provide a structured and positive learning environment in which children can socialize, play and learn, and are a great way for parents to meet and share their experiences.
Parent lead playgroups are generally organized by multiple families and are also a great way for children to socialize and offers parents an opportunity to meet regularly with other parents. Some allow parents to drop off their children. There is no set structure for these arrangements. They can meet one or five days a week. Additionally, the number of children and location of the group can vary depending on what works for everyone.
- Benefit to Parents: Lower cost of child care and a chance to build community.