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We are pleased to announce that Parents Know – the parent Website hosted by the Department of Education – has newly expanded features to include:
Join NACCRRA's Parent Central to learn about your child’s development, discover additional opportunities to get involved in your community, and find activities you can do together that promote learning and bonding.
Looking for Child Care?
We can help!
When it comes to looking for child care, you want the best for your child. Research shows that high quality child care can have a positive impact on a child’s overall development. Finding high quality child care is very important for your child’s well-being.
1. Contact us toll free at 1-866-511-2244 for FREE individual assistance from a child care referral specialist, who will search for child care that meets your specific needs.
2. Visit our internet self-search program, a FREE online child care database.
Child Care Aware makes child care referrals, not recommendations. We refer parents to licensed programs; however, some preschools and school age programs are exempt from licensing. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the information concerning any provider in our files. We do not license, endorse or recommend any particular provider, nor do we make any judgment about the quality of care given by any provider. Consequently, we urge parents to schedule visits/interviews of the child care provider and to check the provider’s references carefully before leaving a child in that provider’s care.
All information received from a parent or guardian for a child care search is confidential. Parent names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, or other information regarding their children will not be shared without written consent.
I have a list of child care providers...now what?
Kinds of child care
You have a number of options in selecting child care. There is no one "best" type of care. It depends on the needs of your child and your family. Click here to view some advantages and disadvantages of each type of care. These are generalizations and there will always be exceptions. Rely on your knowledge of your child's needs to guide you.
What is high quality child care?
Caregivers have training in child development
Training in child development is very important. The caregiver should understand how children develop, their stages of growth and their behavior at various ages. Although specialized training is a key indicator of quality, it's best to look for a provider who has both training and experience.
Group size is small
Children benefit from the individual attention possible in smaller groups. State licensing rules set standards for how many children of various ages may be cared for by one adult. However, some licensed homes and centers care for fewer children or have more adults to attend to children in smaller groups.
The program is focused on children's needs
The high quality program is responsive to each child. Caregivers are prepared to meet children's physical, social, intellectual and emotional needs as the children grow and change. Differences among children's cultures and needs are respected and celebrated.
The care is consistent
Consistent care from a sensitive, responsive caregiver is the foundation for healthy development, building the child's security, confidence and a sense of well-being. The presence of a regular caregiver and minimal turnover in staff are essential elements of high quality child care.
The program is accredited
Accredited programs have gone above and beyond state licensing requirements. They have taken additional training and meet quality standards set by national organizations. Becoming accredited is voluntary. Click here for more information on accredited child care programs.
Child to Adult Ratios
In choosing child care, check the ratios of children to adults. An important indicator of high quality child care is that the number of children per adult provider is small enough so that each child receives sufficient individual attention and care. State licensing has established ratios of the number of children to adult providers that licensed providers must adhere to. Click here to see the various types of child care licenses and the ratios of children to adults.
Interview child care providers
As you begin the search for child care, use this parent toolkit when it comes time for:
You can also visit the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) licensing information lookup to access public information on child care programs licensed by DHS.
Making your decision
Review the information you have gathered. Call back if you have any unanswered questions. Trust your instincts. It’s okay to be a choosy parent.
Paying for Child Care
Average cost of child care
Click here for the average rates charged by family child care providers in your county. For information on centers and preschool programs,or for more specific information by city please contact Child Care Aware at 1-866-511-2244.
Financial aid for child care
Visit the Child Care Financial Aid website to receive an immediate estimate of the benefits and amounts for which you qualify.
With a little planning, the transition to child care or to a new caregiver can go smoothly. Here are some ideas to help prepare you and your child for this step.
Child Care Aware documents and refers complaints pertaining to licensed child care homes and child care centers according to the following two classifications: 1. Maltreatment of Minors 2. Child Care Licensing. Maltreatment complaints are directed to the appropriate child protection agency. Licensing complaints are directed to the appropriate licensing agency.
Child Care Aware wants to provide the highest quality service. If you are not satisfied with the service, please call and let us know how we can improve at 1-866-511-2244 or call Marge Knudson, Director of Midwest Child Care Aware West/Central at 1-800-292-5437.
Child Care Aware of Minnesota, West/Central
7th & Washington Ave - PO Box 159
Montevideo, MN 56265
(320)269-8727 or (800)292-5437
Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:30pm CST