Finding the Right Care
When choosing a provider that is right for your child can take some time. Many providers use waiting lists, especially for infants. Until you can schedule an interview with prospective caregiver(s) and visit their facility, you child shouldn't be left in their care. It takes time to visit several programs and talk with providers until you're confident with your choice.
Take the Plunge and call the child care programs that you're interested in. See if their program has vacancy for your child's age and that they can provide care during the hours you need. After, schedule a time to tour their facility and meet with providers. Again, when looking, try and visit many different programs. Some programs may be better suited to you or your child's needs.
Ask - Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you see all the areas in the program your child will be including the sleeping, outside, and eating area(s). Are the children watched at all times including outside and while they are asleep? Do adults and children wash their hands? Is the play space organized and are materials easy to use? Can your child easily access toys and materials throughout the day? Are positive child guidance techniques used? Click on these links to find more things you can look for and ask about on your visit.
Look - Spend sometime in the program observing the interactions between caregivers and children. Are the caregivers warm and welcoming? Do caregivers engage in conversation with the children? Do caregivers read to children? Check out this clip to see postive teacher interaction throughout a creative curriculum day.
Count - Be sure to ask how many children there are per provider (provider to child ratios). You will want to inquire about how much individual/ group attention you child will get through the day. In some settings there are fewer children per provider which may be better for your child's needs. Find out more about child care ratios below.
Question the Staff - Ask about the caregivers’ training, education and experience. Caregivers with training and/or degrees that encompass working with children may be better able to help your child learn. Check how long caregivers have been providing care at that program. Consistency typically helps children adjust better to a new program; so it may be best if your child can stay with the same caregiver at least a year.
Child Care Ratios
There are different types of licensed and regulated child care programs in Utah. Below is information on each type to assist in you making an informed decision.
Family Child Care means a provider is licensed to do child care in their home. The adult/child ratios are 1 adult to 8 children with no more than 2 children under the age of 2, or 1 adult to 6 children with no more than 3 children under the age of 2. The caregivers own children count in that ratio until they turn 4 years of age.
Family Group Child Care means a provider is licensed to do child care in their home. The adult/ratios are 2 adults to 9-16 children with no more than 4 children under the age of 2. The caregivers own children count in that ratio until they turn 4 years of age.
Residential Certified (RC) means a provider is regulated to do child care in their home. The adult/child ratios are 1 adult to 8 children with no more than 2 children under the age of 2. The caregivers own children count in that ratio until they turn 3 years of age. RC is considered a lower standard than a license because of difference in ratios, group size, caregiver training and outdoor equipment standards. Click here to see a comparison between RC and Licensed Family Child Care.
Child Care Center means childcare provided in a non-residential setting on a regular schedule. The number of children allowed will be determined by the facility's total square footage.
School Age Only Child Care is provided in a non-residential setting for school age children only (ages 5-12). Some programs may be legally licensed exempt. Many licensed centers and licensed family child care programs also take school age children. The Care About Childcare website only lists programs that are licensed.
Search for Care
Through Care About Childcare you can search for individualized care. You will find the providers General Information, Department of Health Child Care Licensing Record, Care About Childcare Quality Indicators, Professional Development, Children with Special Needs, and a message from the provider along with photos.
Child Care Development Fund
The Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada, Inc., Child Care Development Fund program, in coordination with the Confederated Tribes of Goshute, will begin providing child care assistance to American Indian/Alaska Native families in the Salt Lake City Metropolitan Area! I.T.C.F. C.C.D.F can reimburse up to 90% of child care costs. Visit their website at or call them at (775) 355 - 0600
To be eligible for child care assistance:
Child must be:
12 years of age or younger.
Of American Indian/Alaska Native decent.
Parent must be:
Enrolled in educational courses
Enrolled in job training program