All young children deserve a quality care environment. Finding the right child care provider is often challenging, but it will be one of the most important decisions you will make. Please take the time to review the information and tips found on this page for help with finding the right child care for you and your child.
Download our brochure "Your Guide to Choosing Child Care"
Listed below are a few steps you may consider during your search for the right child care
Talking to many providers and visiting several programs will help you feel confident when you make this big decision. If at all possible, begin several weeks ahead of time. It make take some time to find a program and provider you are satisfied with. Many providers often have waiting lists, especially for infants. Knowing that your child is well cared for will be worth the effort and time you put into finding the right program for your child.
What days and times do you need care? Where will you be needing care? How much can you afford to pay? These are good questions to answer at the beginning of your child care search. Be sure to write down any other considerations your child may have, any special need or transportation to school.
If cost is a problem, the State of Utah has child care subsidies that you may be eligible for.
Begin each phone call by asking if it's a good time to talk. (If not, find out when is a better time to call back.) Then you may want to discuss the following information along with anything else that is important to you:
● Available openings
● Fees the provider charges
● Scheduling needs
● Typical day routines
● Location of child care
● Unexpected parent visits policy
● Allergies your child may have: smoke, pets, food, etc.
If you like what you hear on the phone, arrange a time to visit the child care site. Never rely on another person's opinion of a program without checking it out for yourself.
Arrange a time to visit the providers when other children are present so that you can observe the interaction. You may consider bringing your own child along with the understanding that it is only a visit and no decision will be made at this point. Some things you may look for during a visit are:
● Over-all positive feeling
● Positive guidance being used
● Happy background noise
● Provider communicates well
● Provider focuses on children
● Environment is safe with space for activities
● Provider is caring & energetic
● Provider is prepared for emergencies
If you do not see enough during your visits ask the provider "what if" questions for various scenarios. Schedule a time to talk if necessary. You may wish to ask:
● What outings will the group take?
● What training or classes has the provider taken?
● Does the provider take pre-arranged vacations?
● Can parents bring mildly-ill children?
● What is the policy when the child gets sick during the day?
● What emergencies have happened and how were they handled?
● Does the provider have a regular substitute caregiver?
When you find a provider that you like, ask for names and phone numbers of parents that you can call as references. Ask the parents about their children's experiences. If they had to choose another time, would they choose that provider again?
Also, after you have narrowed down your list of potential providers, contact the local licensing agency to check for any complaints that have been made against them. Weber, Davis & Morgan County families can contact licensing at 801-273-6617 or toll free at 1-888-287-3704 The licensing department can also let you know the provider's compliance history as well. Provider’s profiles can also be viewed online at cac.utah.gov.
Weigh all of the information, trust your feelings, sort out what you feel strongly and make a final decision. Where would your child be happiest? In which place where you most comfortable?
If you are not satisfied after checking out all of your possibilities you may wish to contact the referral specialist again for names of more providers
The Child Care Aware website has information to help you conduct your child care search.
Care About Childcare - Weber State University
1351 Edvalson St Dept. 1309
Ogden UT 84408-1309
Care About Childcare - Weber State University is a program of Weber State University's Jerry & Vickie Moyes College of Education's Child & Family Studies Department.
Funding is provided by the Child Care and Development Fund and the Department of Workforce Services, Office of Child Care.