This is the third post in our series about child care in Halton Region.
Anna* needed child care for her two young children as their grandmother was caring for them but was starting to tire easily. Anna was worried about finding someone she could trust and who would make sure her children were learning and having fun. Anna called her local Halton 211 phone service for help. They connected her with Halton Region’s Child Care Subsidy and The Halton Resource Connection’s Child Care Directory and Information Line (CCDIL) for information about her child care options.
As a CCDIL Parent and Provider consultant, I received Anna’s call and gave her details about Licensed Home Child Care Agencies and Licensed Child Care Centres. I put together a list of child care options that best suited her family’s needs and included the names and phone numbers of child care providers within her community. We also talked about what she should consider when looking for the best care available. There are two key things to quality child care; the child care provider and the environment. I emailed Anna a copy of the Halton Resource Connection‘s “Parents’ Guide to Quality Child Care,” which gave her more information about quality child care and includes questions to ask potential care providers.
There are 5 steps in searching for quality child care:
- Determine your family’s needs – What fees can you afford? What hours do you need?
- Create a list of child care options – In Halton Region contact CCDIL
- Make phone calls to locations – Screen potential care providers on the phone. Have a list of questions ready in advance. For example: “What are your hours? How many children are in your program; what ages? Are you part of Quality First?”
- Visit child care programs – Have a list of questions ready. The “Parents’ Guide to Quality Child Care” booklet, available by contacting CCDIL has a great list of questions.
- Choose a suitable child care option
It can take time to find the right child care option for your family. Start early; give yourself at least three months if possible. Child care centres often have long waiting lists, especially if you are looking for infant care. If you know the right questions to ask and plan a careful search you will find options that best suit your families’ needs.
The CCDIL is happy to help you in your search for quality child care in Halton. To obtain a copy of The Halton Resource Connection’s “Parents’ Guide to Quality Child Care” or for more information about finding quality child care, please contact CCDIL. You can even submit our Child Care Information Request form online to receive a personalized list of providers in your area.
About this guest blogger:
Maria Evans is a Registered Early Childhood Educator working for the Milton Resource Community Centre. She is the coordinator of The Halton Resource Connection’s Child Care Directory and Information Line. Maria has worked within the early childhood field for 34 years, in a variety of programs, such as licensed child care centres, home-based care, group homes and with the Halton Board of Education.
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For parenting information, or to speak with a Public Health Nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.
*Client’s same has been changed and story modified to protect client’s identity