Looking for child care can be overwhelming for parents. Here is an explanation of the different types of child care and a checklist when visiting a facility:
Throughout the United States there are child care listings for:
- Department of Health Services in every state and could be easily searched online by using the keywords: Department of Health Services (with your state)
- Department of Economic Securities in every state and could be easily searched online by using the keywords: Department of Economic Securities (with your state)
- Child Care Resource & Referral in every state and could be easily searched online by using the keywords: Child Care Resource & Referral (with your state)
For local Arizona community:
AZDHS (Arizona Department of Health Services)
For Licensed Child Care Centers and Group Homes http://www.azdhs.gov/als/childcare/parents/index.htm
Arizona Department of Health Services license and regulate facilities that are family group home and for child care centers throughout the state. The local Phoenix phone # 602-364-2539602-364-2539
- They regulate for small group in-home care for groups as small as 1 adult to 5 children ratio.
- They regulate large group in-home care for as large as 2 adults to 10 children ratio.
- They regulate child care centers (public building setup) with a larger ratio of adults and children.
- Each facility is assigned a representative from AZDHS to visit the home or center every few months unannounced. During the visit they are asked to see sign-in sheets, child record forms, required proof of insurance, background check, figure print cards, gas appliance check along with the list of rules and regulations that are required to stay licensed and operated. They interview and talk with the staff when necessary.
- The representative of AZDHS also takes time to visually inspect the home or center for any safety hazards. You as a parent have the right to ask to view the inspection reports. You are also allowed to check the AZDHS office if there are any discrepancies by connecting with assigned representative for the facility or home of your interest.
AZDES (Arizona Department of Economic Security)
For Certified Family Child Care Homes & In-Home Child Care Providers
Arizona Department of Economic Security certify and regulate homes that family child care based at a provider’s home and in-home child care based at the children’s home (nanny service setup) throughout the state.
The local Phoenix phone # 602-542-4248
- They regulate for small family child care homes up to 1 adult to 4 children ratio + providers own children
- They regulate in-home child care based at the children’s home (usually a nanny service setup)
- Each home is assigned a representative from AZDES to visit the home every few months unannounced. During the visit the provider in charge is asked to see sign-in sheets, child record forms, required proof of insurance, background check, figure print cards, gas appliance check along with the list of rules and regulations that are required to stay certified and operated as a DES provider.
- The representative of AZDES also takes time to visually inspect the home for any safety hazards. You as a parent have the right to ask to view the inspection reports. You are also allowed to check the AZDES office if there are any discrepancies by connecting with the representative who is assigned to the home of your interest.
- AZDES offer a variety of services to support low income families like:
- Child Care
- Child Support Services
- Community Action Programs
- Domestic Violence
- Financial Support
- Health Insurance
- Short-term Crisis
For more information regarding the above list of services click on this link:
https://www.azdes.gov/main.aspx?id=3319 or call the local # list above.
CCR&R (Arizona Child Care Resource & Referral)
For registered child care homes
- CCR&R register family child care homes that meet certain requirements:
- Have an Arizona Child Protective Services (CPS) clearance
- Get fingerprinted for a criminal background check
- Provide proof of current training in CPR and First Aid
- Submit a sworn statement attesting that if they have a pool, it is safely fenced
- Make sure firearms and ammunition in the home are locked in separate locations
- Keep a ratio of 1 adult to 4 children + the provider’s own children
- These homes are not visited by the state unless they are licensed with DHS, certified with DES, or with a food program
- Offer free listings of child care providers and centers online, by phone, and by office visit
Other resources that are available for parents are caregivers are:
Child Care Aware
For Military Families
http://www.naccrra.org/military-families contact information at Arlington, VA
Phone: 703-341-4100703-341-4100 Child Care Aware® of America's office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern Time.
Child Care Resource and Referral works with Child Care Aware of America to support members of all branches of the military in Arizona. Child Care Aware of America offers various services and supports to members of the military through their Operation Military Child Care (OMCC) and Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood (MCCYN) programs.
Child Care Aware of America partners with the U.S. Military Services to help those who serve in the military find and afford child care that suits their unique needs. Through the fee assistance program, families are eligible to receive a monthly subsidy to help offset the cost of child care in their communities.
The Operation Military Child Care program provides fee assistance for families of deployed or mobilized National Guard, Reserve and Active Duty Army soldiers during the duration of the deployment.
The Military Child Care in Your Neighborhood program provides fee assistance for families of Active Duty Army Service Members and Army Civilians / Technicians who are unable to access on-post child care. Providers for the MCCYN program must meet additional high quality standards.
Throughout the United States there are food program listings. Search online under “Child and Adult Care Food Program (with your state)
For Local Arizona community:
CACFP (Child and Adult Care Food Program)
http://www.azed.gov/health-nutrition/cacfp/ contact information:
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin 7
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Tel: (602) 542-8700(602) 542-8700
The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) is administered by the Arizona Department of Education and funded by the federal government.
The primary goal of the CACFP is:
- To improve and maintain the health and nutritional status of children and adults in care while promoting the development of good eating habits.
- Sponsors participating in the CACFP must serve meals to all enrolled participants.
- The CACFP plays a vital role in improving the quality of day care and making it more affordable for many low-income families. Each day, 2.9 million children receive nutritious meals and snacks through CACFP.
- In addition, the program also provides meals and snacks to 74,000 adults who receive care in nonresidential adult care centers.
- CACFP reaches even further to provide meals to children residing in homeless shelters and snacks and suppers to youths participating in eligible after school care programs
- Reimbursement program for provider’s that meet the requirement
Eligible providers can be Department of Economic Security certified home, Department of Health Services certified group home, alternatively approved home through a sponsoring organization with the CACFP programs, military licensed home, or tribal licensed home.
- To serve meals and snacks that meet the program guidelines,
- To maintain required records which include
1) daily attendance
3) meal count records
4) child enrollment forms
5) attend training annually
6) allowing monitoring visit
I am not sure if the program is offered throughout the United States; however, look up First Things First and Quality First Scholarship programs in your local state. Read below for what they offer.
For the local Arizona community:
First Things First and Quality First
Scholarships program to help families afford quality care
To find out more about First Things First and Quality First please visit: http://www.qualityfirstaz.com/
The First Things First (FTF) Quality First (QF) Scholarships program was created to:
- Help families with young children afford quality care.
- Scholarships support families who are working, attending school or choosing to place their child in a quality early childhood education setting.
- Child Care scholarships are currently being offered in 26 Regional Partnership Councils statewide.
- Scholarships are offered to children birth through five years of age, not yet in kindergarten.
- These scholarships are funded by First Things First (FTF) and administered through Valley of the Sun United Way (VSUW).
Where to go online to search? Search online for Child Care Resource & Referral (with your state)
For local Arizona community:
CCR&R (Arizona Child Care Resource & Referral)
The local phone # 1-800-308-90001-800-308-9000
It’s highly recommended to visit several facilities to get a feel of what you are looking for. Ask to drop in and visit during child care open hours while kids are there.
Here is the check list mentioned in the beginning:
Make several copies of the CCR&R Quality Child Care check list http://www.arizonachildcare.org/families/childcare-checklist.html to use for each visit.