What is Family Child Care?
Children respond to their total environment. In the homelike atmosphere provided by Family Child Care, the young child can form friendships with other children and will relate with one or two consistent adults. There is always plenty of attention and equipment to go around.
A small situation allows for spontaneous and flexible programming with emphasis on sharing and helping. Increasingly, parents need to choose work or study outside their homes. Family Child Care offers a viable option to families through the provision of safe, reliable, high quality care for children. Sometimes it involves using an entire home, while other times, only part of a home is used. The importance of a homelike atmosphere and the position of family centered activities are emphasized.
General Daycare Information and Licensing Regulations
Quality Family Child Care possesses many positive characteristics:
- it is culturally appropriate;
- it is community based;
- care providers can be male or female;
- it can be responsive to flexible and varied work schedules;
- as it is home based, it can be located anywhere.
It is believed that quality of a Family Child Care home can be measured by:
- the care provider/caring adults;
- the setting environment;
- how well the setting environment and the care provider/adult meet the needs of children and their families.
Regulations of BC Family Child Care: (note: some regulations vary by municipality)
- A license is required when a person cares for more than two children not related by blood or marriage.
- Licensed care may be provided for a maximum of 7 children (including the child care providers own children).
Although a child care home may be licensed and/or a member of the local Child Care Resource and Referral Program, you as a parent must make the final decision as to whether a child care arrangement is a good one.
It is important to carefully select the right Family Child Care home.
- Review brochures and booklets on Selecting Child Care (pdf file)made available through the Government of British Columbia and local CCRR’s.
- When possible, visit or call your local Child Care Resource & Referral Program. They have valuable information on the types of care available, questions to ask when selecting a child care centre and how to monitor the care once chosen. The CCRR offices maintains a list of the Family Child Cares in the community, both licensed and LNR (License Not Required) that are registered with them.
For the number of the nearest Child Care Resource and Referral (CCRR) call the Child Care Help Line in Greater Victoria at 356-6501 or Outside Greater Victoria toll free at 1 888 338-6622 or check-out: BC Child Care Resource & Referral Programs
- Visit several homes. Try to find one that compliments your own home and provides the type of care and activities you would like for your child.
Government Child Care Subsidy
You may be eligible for a financial subsidy for child care costs. How much you may receive depends on your net family income, your allowable exemptions, the number of children requiring care, their ages and the number of hours of care each child requires. For additional information visit The Ministry of Children and Family Development.
Monitor Your Child Care Service
It is important to monitor your child’s care on an ongoing basis to ensure the placement is a good situation for both your child and your family. It is important to leave time to discuss your concerns and questions with the child care provider, in an effort to find a solution that works for both of you. Ensure that the home is well maintained, with attention given to good safety practices.
Care for your Child Care Provider
It is important for you to give your child care provider feedback. Let them know when they are doing a good job, or when they make a special effort for your child and/or family. Respect their family needs by staying within in your agreed hours and contract, follow health guidelines for admitting sick children, use a courtesy call if you will be late, and schedule a meeting if there are things you need to discuss. Parents and child care providers need to work together as a team to supply children with supportive, consistent care that meets the needs of everyone.
Checklist for Selecting Child Care
- what is the child care provider/child ratio?
- what are the age restrictions?
- what ages are the other children in group?
- what is the fee schedule?
- is there a written agreement?
- how much notice is required for holidays, withdrawal or schedule changes?
- does the child care provider carry adequate liability insurance (on daycare home and vehicle)?
- what other adult will be involved in caring for the child?
- what is the quality of child care provider/child relationship?
- what forms of guidance/discipline are used?
- what forms of communication are there?
- is the general atmosphere conducive to activity, development, creativity and joy?
- do quiet children receive their share of attention?
- what experience and training does the child care provider have working with children and families?
- where do the children rest?
- does each child have their own blanket?
- is there a place to keep a child if they become ill?
- is play supervised and guided?
- is there access to play equipment?
- is the area fenced, away from traffic and other danger?
- is it clean and safe for children?
- are cleaning supplies stored in locked cupboards?
- are utensils, electric cords and other hazards out of children’s reach?
Playrooms (all rooms used by children)
- are there books, instruments, children’s records, art supplies?
- are the rooms pleasant and colourful?
- is there enough space?
- are the areas well lit and in good repair?
- are toys suitable for your child’s age?
- is it clean and safe for children?
- is it located near the playroom?
- does each child have a towel and a toothbrush?
- are there footstools for children to reach the faucet and toilet?
- are preventive health measures practiced?
- are appropriate diapering routines followed?
Special Note: Are emergency phone numbers posted?