The care of our children
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The Care of Our Children. So you’re having a child Where to Begin?. Understand the nature and types of child care Understand your needs, your child’s needs, and the needs of your family Understand licensed care and components of quality care. The Nature of Child Care.

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So you re having a child where to begin
So you’re having a childWhere to Begin?

  • Understand the nature and types of child care

  • Understand your needs, your child’s needs, and the needs of your family

  • Understand licensed care and components of quality care

The nature of child care
The Nature of Child Care

  • It is a long term relationship.

    • Your child is potentially in someone else’s care for up to 10 hours per day.

    • Approach the entire decision making process with extreme care, caution, and understanding

    • Understand it is a choice you are making—and once you have made that choice, you must stand behind it, or make a change.

Types of care
Types of Care

  • Two Primary Choices:

    • Center Based Care

    • Family Home Care

  • Other Choices:

    • Nanny or private care inside your home

    • Combination of preschool, licensed care, or private care in your home

Assessing the needs
Assessing the Needs

  • Understanding your child:

    • Take them for a visit

    • Watch them carefully: Do they seem content, intimidated?

    • Be sure it is an environment in which you feel they will find comfort while you are not with them

Assessing the needs1
Assessing the Needs

  • What About the Family’s Needs:

    • Be sure you are comfortable with the personnel, the environment, the schedule, etc.

    • Does the location and type of care suit you as well?

    • What about siblings, or expected siblings?

    • Does it work well within your family system?

The quality of programs
The Quality of Programs

  • Licensed?

  • Accredited?

  • Also--Are they PLAYING—and are the caregivers engaged while they are playing?

  • understand what your options are, and strive to find the best fit for your child and family

Licensed child care
Licensed Child Care

  • Who must be licensed?

    • Anyone caring for a child outside of the child’s home (in their own home)

    • Centers providing care for more than 3 hours per day, on a regularly scheduled basis

    • There are some exemptions, but these are not typical

  • Who is the licensing entity?

    • Washington State Department of Early Learning


Quality indicators in addition to licensing
Quality Indicators in Addition to Licensing

  • Accreditation: different levels, different programs

    • Though it is certainly not a guarantee of quality, and there are many quality programs that are NOT accredited, accreditation addresses areas such as:

      • staff to child ratio

      • staff training

      • environment

      • program history

  • Check the DEL website for complaints and history of problems

How can we help
How Can We Help?

  • We connect with licensing, licensed child care providers, and preschools to contribute to the quality improvement of our local child care programs (Whitman and Asotin County)

  • We are here as a community resource for all families: call us, and we can help connect you

  • Referrals to licensed child care are made through our Spokane Office:

    • 1-800-446-2229

What we can t do
What we Can’t Do?

  • We cannot recommend or refer programs. The best program for one child or family may not be the best for another—it is the work of the parent(s) to ensure the program they choose is the best fit for all, and to continue to assess and ensure that it is the best fit as the child develops.


  • Washington State Department of Early Learning:


  • Child Care Resource and Referral Website (Whitman and Asotin Counties):


  • Washington State Child Care Resource and Referral Website: