Tips for Finding a Home Daycare in Champaign-Urbana and Beyond
Where to turn first when you’re looking for childcare for your baby, toddler or child.
We get a lot of questions about how to find a home daycare in the Champaign-Urbana area. We understand why- it’s a big decision for parents to make with many variables to consider.
If you are new to town or don’t have any recommendations from family or friends, your first call should be to the Child Care Resource Service at the University of Illinois.
CCRS helps families every day find the best daycare match for their children in the area. CCRS manages a database that includes hundreds of home daycares in Champaign, Douglas, Iroquois, Macon, Piatt and Vermillion counties.
While they don’t make recommendations on providers, they do help customize a list based on family needs and circumstances. CCRS also helps working families who qualify receive subsidies to cover the costs of childcare.
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Dottie Squire, a team manager at CCRS, shared with us some important questions to ask when looking for a home daycare in the Champaign-Urbana area and beyond.
While this list doesn’t include every question parents should ask, it’s a good start when considering home daycare options.
How long has the business been providing care?
Does the provider have any education (not necessarily in childcare) or taken child care classes?
What kind of activities do the children do throughout the day?
Are there books visible and accessible to children?
How clean is the house? (Clutter doesn’t mean it’s dirty.)
What is the layout of the home? Does it have a separate space for diapering, sleeping, etc.?
What is the outdoor space like?
What is the ratio of children? How many young children are there? (Typically, licensed daycares can only have five children under five years old and out of those five, only three can be under two years old.)
What do food and meals look like? Is there a menu posted?
Who are their references? Always check with them.
Squire says it’s really important for parents to go out and visit the caregivers in their homes, noting licensing is a minimum standard for daycares.
She says parents need to evaluate the environment firsthand to determine how comfortable it is and how the provider communicates and interacts with children. In the end, the decision might come from a parent’s “gut” instinct.
If you’d like more information about finding a home daycare, contact CCRS at (800) 325-5516 or 217-333-3252 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do you have any tips on finding a home daycare in the Champaign-Urbana area? Let us know!