FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT CHILD DAY CARE
WHAT ARE CHILD DAY CARE SERVICES?
Child day care services means the
provision of protection, care and developmental experiences to children
ages birth through 12 years for a portion of the day but less that
24 hours. In certain circumstances, children through age 17 may receive
day care services.
Catawba Social Services is the local
purchasing agency that contracts with local child care providers.
Information is provided to families and the community about what constitutes
a good day care experience for a child as well as assists eligible
families with the cost of the child day care service.
WHO MAY RECEIVE CHILD DAY CARE SERVICES?
Parents, foster parents, or the adult
responsible for the care of the child may apply for child day care services.
The application is made at the county department of social services. The
Catawba County Social Services offers assistance with child day care cost
|Need for child care
To be eligible for child day care services the family must meet at least
one of the five program goals listed above. Families must also be income
eligible to receive this assistance. The family's gross income cannot exceed
the state's maximum income eligibility limit for the number of persons in
that income unit. Child care services to support child protective or child
welfare services and child care for children in the custody of Social Services
are provided without regard to income.
DO I HAVE A CHOICE IN CHILD DAY CARE ARANGEMENTS?
Federal regulations of subsidized child
care funds require that parents be allowed to choose a child care arrangement
from a variety of types of providers. Parental Choice is an important
component of child day care services. Parents have the right to select
a child care provider for their children. The Catawba County Social Services
makes every effort to place children in the day care arrangements selected
by parents. Child Day Care staff works with the parents to help them make
informed choices about child care.
WHAT SHOULD I CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING CHILD DAY CARE
- Special needs of the child which would require a specific type of care
- Hours when child care is needed, based on work or school schedule, including travel time
- type of program the parent desires, such as center-based or home-based care
- Convenience of the child care arrangement to home, work, or school
- Difference between regulated and unregulated child care
- Factors such as group size, staff/child ratio, staff qualifications
- Substantiation of abuse or neglect of child care providerDiscipline Policy
WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK THE CHILD CARE PROVIDERS
- Is the program licensed/registered?
- Are the hours acceptable & fees affordable?
- Is the facility safe and well maintained?
- Is the atmosphere bright and pleasant?
- Are the toys safe and appropriate?
- Is there good light and ventilation?
- Are the medicines and cleaning products locked away?
- Do the care givers enjoy children?
- Are the children greeted when they arrive?
- Do they respond quickly to children's needs?
- Do they play with the children?
- Are they gentle in handling children?
- Do they meet with parents on a regular basis?
- Are parents encouraged to get involved?
- Does the care giver take continuing education classes?
- Will the care giver tell you what your child is doing each day?
- Do the care giver's attitudes toward children match your own?
- Is the care giver's style appropriate for your child's age and temperament?
- If there is a disagreement, would you be comfortable discussing it with the care giver?
- Are care giver's the role model you want for your child?
- Are activities varied and age-appropriate?
- Do the children play outdoors each day? Is the outdoor area safe?
- Can the care giver's see the entire outdoor play area at all time?
- Is there a clear schedule for meals, naps, playtimes, story time, and quiet time?
- Are snacks and meals nutritious and well balanced?
- Are there plenty of toys, learning materials and books for the children?
- Are parents welcome to spend time there?
- Would the size of the group allow your child to get the attention he/she needs?
- Are the activities enjoyable?
- Are the children happy?
- Is the atmosphere pleasant and bright?
- Is the classroom big enough for the children?
- Can the children reach the toys and learning materials?
Trust your instincts. If you feel you need to visit again, do it! You are
the best judge of what your child needs.
WHERE CAN I DIRECT COMPLAINS/ INQUIRIES?
The Day Care unit receives a lot of inquiry calls regarding the history
of a child care provider. There is some information within the unit that
is accessible to families. Call (828) 695-5721 for an initial inquiry. For
a complete history, contact the Division of Child Development at 1-800-859-0829.
Ask for Customer Service. They will need the name of the provider and the
location by county. Ask for a compliance and report history. Information
can not be given over the phone. The reports and findings will be sent through