MomTrusted on Parenting, Kids, and Early Education

Selecting an Inhome or Family Child Care Provider

Charlene Olson, Family Child Care Specialist at 4C for Children, speaks with us about important considerations when selecting an inhome or family child care provider.  Watch the video or read more about the topic below!

What is an inhome or family child care provider?

A family child care home or inhome provider is most often one person caring for a small number of children in her home (not the home of the family).  The children’s ages can range from birth to school age.  People choose inhome care to have a home-like environment for their young children, for the children to receive more one on one attention, or to have interactions with children of different ages.

How many children can be cared for at a time?

State and local regulations vary by location.  Ohio Regulations, Kentucky Regulations

Tips for searching for a family home child care or home preschool provider

– talk to several providers to get a feel for what you like or want your child care provider to have

– ask about fees, hours of operation, vacation and holiday policies

– make appointments and visit a few providers with your child to observe them in the setting and with the daycare provider

– talk to other parents who are currently using the provider or have used the child care provider in the recent past

Characteristics of a good child care home

– warm, nurturing, kind, and patient

– respectful of children as little people/individuals

– laughs with, talks with, and listens to the children

– reads, plays, and sings with the children

– has experience caring for and educating children

– the caregiver nor anyone in the household should ever have been convicted of child abuse or neglect

Be aware of or establish the following policies and procedures

– accepting or exluding sick children

– holiday/vacation payments and time off

– posted emergency numbers including where parents can be reached

– plans for a substitute in case of an emergency

The home environment should

– limit tv watching

– protect stairways, windows, doorways with gates

– have heaters, stoves, electrical appliances, and furnaces out of children’s reach

– have child sized tables, chairs, and potty chairs

– have highchairs and a crib for each infant and a bed or cot for each preschool child

– lock up cleaning supplies and other dangerous chemicals

– cover electrical outlets

– have toys and activities easily accessible to children on low shelves or tables

Daily activities should include:

– quiet active play periods

– enough toys and interesting things to do for each aged child

– babies out of their crib most of their waking hours

– infants and toddlers able to eat and sleep according to their individual needs and schedules

At meal times:

– babies should be held when fed from a bottle

– children should be encouraged to try new foods but not forced to eat

– hands should be washed before meal preparation and eating

– well balanced and nutritious meals served

– food never withheld as punishment

Toilet or Potty training:

– should be viewed as a natural and positive process for the child

– diaper changing surfaces should be disinfected after each baby’s diaper change

– child care providers should wash hands after changing each baby

Health and Safety practices should include:

– a first aid kit should be available at all times

– an established emergency exit route everyone understandds

– a physically healthy caregiver

To find an inhome child care provider near you, search on

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