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Steps to Finding the Best Child Care for Your Family
Finding the right child care for your family is a big decision! There is so much to consider; location, price, size, ages served, schedule, training of staff, cleanliness, materials, etc.
The Office of Child Care Licensing (OCCL) regularly visits child care providers to review that basic health and safety standards are being followed. These records are available to the public.
They can be found on each provider’s record by searching OCCL.
Also, you can return to the Home page and search Delaware providers. (click here)
Here are a few additional tools that go beyond licensing to help you in your search.
Delaware Stars for Early Success Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) evaluates and rates the quality of care beyond the licensing requirements. Child care providers that choose to participate are rated on a scale that goes from Star Level 1 “Starting with Stars” to Star Level 5.
Accreditation is another way a child care provider communicates the quality of their program. In order to become accredited by an agency child care providers are evaluated according to the agency’s set of rules. Some child care providers in Delaware are accredited by the following agencies. Visit their websites for more information on the rules and process for becoming accredited.
There are pros and cons for each type of care. To help you decide what is important to you the following provides you with a comparison at a glance:
|wdt_ID||Feature||Child Care Centers||Family Child Care||In-Home Care|
|1||How children are grouped||Similar ages grouped together||Mixed ages||Individual or family group|
|2||Group size||Larger groups of children||Small groups of children||Individually sized group of children|
|3||Atmosphere||School-like atmosphere||Home-like atmosphere||At home|
|4||Teacher Training||Training required||Training required||No training or licensing required|
|5||Exposure to illness||Highest risk of exposure to illness||Less risk of exposure to illness||Lowest risk of exposure to illness|
|6||Opportunities for observation and monitoring||Most opportunity for public observation and monitoring||Less opportunity for public observation and monitoring||No opportunity for public observation and monitoring|
|7||Staffing||Multiple staff members to cover for illness and vacations||Limited staff members to cover illness and vacations||No backup staff to cover illness and vacations|
|8||Hours of operation||Operation hours are not flexible||More flexibility for individual schedules||Most flexibility for individual schedules|
|9||Potential for staff turnover||Highest potential staff turnover||Consistent primary caregivers||Consistent primary caregivers|
|10||Tax implications||Payments are tax deductible *||Payments are tax deductible *||Tax implications ^|
* If you use unlicensed care that should be licensed in Delaware, you cannot take it as a tax deduction. Please check with your tax expert to find out the details for your individual family.
^ There are tax implications both for the parent and the provider when using in-home care (care that takes place in the child’s home). Please check with your tax expert to find out the details for your individual family.