Choosing Child Care

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Choosing Child Care

Choosing the right child care for your family is an important and sometimes challenging decision for parents, guardians, and caregivers. VOCS wants to help you choose the right option for you and your family’s needs and schedules.

Before looking for child care, contact our Resource & Referral Staff who are always ready to help you make an informed decision. We’re available via phone, email, and in person!

To learn more about the various childcare options available, read the sections below to find the right fit for your family.




Child Care Options

Child Care Centers

If you are looking for a traditional option, a Child Care Center may be the right environment for your children. Child Care Centers (CCC) have a director, and numerous staff, and offer structured education, safety, care, and adherence to licensing regulations. 

A Child Care Center is operated in a commercial care space. Child Care Centers are larger, so more children can be enrolled and more staff are present during operating hours.

Here are some of the reasons families may choose a Child Care Center:

  • Scheduled Routine
  • Many Staff Members
  • Structured Education
  • Classrooms By Child Age Group
  • Large Environment
  • Larger Peer Interaction

Family Child Care Homes

Every child has their own unique needs and for some, a Family Child Care Home (FCCH) may be the right fit for them. Family Child Care Homes may be an alternative for families seeking a smaller, more home-like environment. They offer the same level of safety, care, and adherence to licensing regulations as well.

A Family Child Care Home (FCCH) is a care setting within the provider’s home. These providers are referred to as FCCHs and they are licensed facilities.

Here are some of the reasons families may choose an FCCH:

  • Extended hours
  • Many offer nights & weekends
  • Smaller group sizes
  • Mixed ages
  • Allows for siblings to stay together
  • Home-based education environment

Family, Friends, & Neighbors

License Exempt Providers (also known as “Family, Friends, & Neighbors” or “FFN”) provide care in a private home, typically by someone in your personal network; including a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or a current caregiver. FFN care allows for a family-friendly setting that can support parent’s values and culture.

FFN care is provided either in your home or in the home of the personal caregiver you choose. They are not required to adhere to licensing regulations but still provide individualized attention, accessibility, and flexibility.

  • Flexible for non-traditional hours

  • Close to home

  • Smaller group

  • Mixed ages

  • Trust, relationship, & family development

  • Cultural connection

More Child Care Options

5 Steps to Finding Care

If you are evaluating child care options, read our 5 Steps to Finding Care checklist below,
a helpful list of recommendations to make sure a child care provider is right for you!

Contact us today for childcare referrals!


1) Be Informed

  • Contact your local Resource and Referral agency ( under family service)
  • Conact your regional state CCL office which licenses child care (for compliant information).
  • Ask relatives, friends, and neighbors.
  • Check the newspaper and community bulletin boards.
  • Oliver’s law: as a parent you have the right to get information about any substantiated or inconclusive complaints about a child care provider that you select for your child. That information is public and you can get it by calling the local licensing office at 1-844-538-8267


2) Look

  • Is the facility safe, comfortable and clean?
  • Is there a quiet place for naps?
  • Are there a variety of toys to play with?
  • Is there a sanitary diaper changing area?
  • Is the kitchen clean and sanitary?
  • How do the children interact with each other?


3) Count

  • Are there the correct number of adults per child?
  • How many infants are in care?
  • Are you comfortable with the adult:child ratio?


4) Ask

  • What is your experience and/or education in child care and child development?
  • What is your discipline philosophy?
  • What kinds of things do you do to help a new child transition into care?
  • What do you do when a child cries?
  • How would you react if you saw my child bite another?
  • How long have you been doing child care?
  • Can I visit my child whenever I want?
  • What is your plan for an emergency?
  • What do you charge and what does that include?
  • Do you have a contract?


5) Listen

  • To the answers that are given (take notes).
  • To the noise level of the room.
  • For joyful noise from the children.
  • For a respectful attitude towards kids.
  • To the feeling you have.
  • To any concerns you might have.
  • To any concerns your child might have.