How to find trusted and quality child care in the Ozarks
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Thousands of Missourians are struggling to find quality and affordable child care.
Many working parents are wondering where to turn with prices rising and a shortage of providers. The Better Business Bureau has some tips to help narrow down how you can find the right fit.
“It was very difficult, and I had to have family help me out actually for about six or seven months until I was able to find care,” said foster mom Kyndra Day. “A lot of the daycares that I contacted didn’t accept the state pay or foster kids in general.”
Finding child care felt almost impossible for Day, and having two foster kids only added another layer to finding care. The struggle Day went through isn’t uncommon.
The Better Business Bureau says it received more than 160,000 inquiries about how to find the right child care provider and, that’s just in 2022.
“It always starts with doing your homework, and one of the best places to start is by simply asking friends and family,” said Pamela Hernandez with the BBB.
Hernandez says you can check and see if the child care provider is legit on its website.
“You can see reviews from other consumers as well as any complaints that have been filed,” said Hernandez. “You also should go to the facility during normal working hours and take a tour see what the environment is like.”
Some additional tips provided by the BBB:
- Check for accreditation. At BBB.org, you can view Business Profiles for child care providers in your area to see reviews and complaints, or to learn if a provider is accredited. BBB Accredited Businesses are vetted, trusted care providers.
- Determine what kind of care you need: full- or part-time, in-home or facility-based. Consider factors like the location in relation to your home and work, hours, cost and educational opportunities for your children.
- Know your budget. Your budget for child care will likely inform your decision. Ask about fees, deposits and payment deadlines to ensure you have the full financial picture.
- Check safety procedures. It’s good to know what safety and wellness protocols are in place and how an accident will be handled. What will happen if your child is hurt or becomes ill? Will you be called or notified before you arrive to pick up your child?
- Ask about the daily schedule. What’s the balance between structured and unstructured activities? How are children put down for naps, and how often are they checked on while sleeping? What if your child can’t go to sleep?
- Verify licenses and insurance. Ask if the facility is licensed by the state or local community, and if it carries appropriate liability insurance.
- Get reviews from parents. If possible, speak with other parents who are using the same provider to discuss their experiences.
MORE: KY3 CHILD CARE COVERAGE
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