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:

  • Location –drive time from home to child care and from child care to work
  • Hours of operation and rates
  • Different types of child care providers

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

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.

  • More Structured
  • If teacher is sick a substitute is available
  • Children are grouped according to age
  • Staffing follows a pre-set ratio of adults to children
  • Siblings are in different groups
  • More than one provider during the day

Child Development Homes

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.

  • Fees usually less
  • Hours more flexible with possible evening or weekend care
  • If provider needs day off, parents find alternative care
  • Siblings are in same group
  • Ages of children can vary in group
  • Family setting
  • consistent provider during early childhood

Non-Registered Homes

Non-Registered Homes are NOTvisited or inspected by DHS at all unless there is a protective concern or over numbers complaint.

  • Only allowed to care for 5 children at a time
  • If receiving Child Care Assistance, they do have criminal & child abuse history checks completed
  • Fees usually less
  • Hours more flexible with possible evening or weekend care
  • If provider needs day off, parents find alternative care
  • Siblings are in same group
  • Ages of children can vary in group
  • Family setting
  • consistent provider during early childhood

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:

  • Policies regarding: care of ill children, safe sleep for infants, staff/child ratios, CPR, First Aid training
  • Care of children with special needs
  • Rates or fees
  • Do they participate in Iowa's Quality Rating System

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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News


Posted by ICCRR in News on 12/3/2019
Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is pleased to announce the launch of the Communities of Practice webpage, designed to share child care business networking improvement efforts by posting opportunities to engage with peers and connect with Child Care Consultants and their resources.
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Posted by ICCRR in News on 11/6/2019
Iowa CCR&R co-sponsored webinar trainings for Iowa child care businesses.
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