Whether you are returning to work after a maternity leave, a single parent juggling work and school, or one of two working parents, you are one of the 261,179 working mothers in Iowa who may be looking for child care. Choosing care for your child is one of the most important decisions parents will make, and it can be overwhelming. OR, perhaps you enjoy working with young children and are considering a career in child care. Understanding Iowa’s child care system and regulations is important for both parties. It can help parents make an informed child care decision that works for their family and can also help potential child care providers decide whether or not this is the field for them. When choosing child care, take into consideration:
Let’s take a moment to explore what “different types of child care providers” means. Did you know that Iowa has 3 classifications of child care providers? To make the choice that works best for your family or best for your future job, check out these classifications:
Centers are licensed with the Department of Human Services (DHS) or follow the Department of Education Early Childhood Standards. All staff working in a center are required to have a child abuse history check, criminal background check and fingerprinting.
Child Development Homes are registered with DHS and will also submit to checks for criminal and child abuse history. All persons over 18, living in the home are fingerprinted.
Non-Registered Homes are NOTvisited or inspected by DHS at all unless there is a protective concern or over numbers complaint.
Before making a decision for your child, DO make an appointment with the center director or home provider to visit and observe their child care program. Make a list of topics to ask about, including:
These are just a few things to consider. Ultimately, your child care provider should give you peace of mind that your child will be cared for in a loving, nurturing environment
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