Steps to Choosing Care

Once you have used the Care About Childcare® Search to find child care programs in your area there are four things you can do to narrow down your search and locate the program that will work best for your family.

Visit and Ask Questions

Call the child care programs that you are interested in. Check with the program that they have a vacancy for your child’s age and that the program is open the hours you need care. Then you will want to schedule a time for a visit. Try and visit as many programs as you can so you can see all the options you have.

During your visit you may want to:

  1. 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. 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 us? Can your child access toys and materials throughout the day? Are positive behavior guidance techniques used?
    Checklists on Choosing Child Care:
  2. 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?
  3. Count. Ask how many children there are for each adult (Adult/Child Ratios). You will want to inquire about how much attention you child will get through the day. The fewer children for each adult may be better for your child. Find out how many children are in the group or classroom (Group Size). Small groups may be better.
  4. Ask. Ask about the caregivers’ training, education and experience. Caregivers with training and/or degrees in working with children may be better able to help your child learn. Check how long caregivers have been providing care at that program. It may be best if your child can stay with the same caregiver at least a year.

Licensing Care Type

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.

Licensed 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. Additional Licensed Family Child Care information.

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 4 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. Comparison between RC and Licensed Family Child Care.

Licensed 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. Additional Licensed Child Care Center information.

School Age Only child care provided in a non-residential setting for school age children only (ages 5-12). Click here for more information. Some programs may be legally licensed exempt click here to read what constitutes 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. To see a list of Licensed Centers, Licensed Family Child Care and Licensed Exempt After School Programs that accept school age children click here.

To learn more about other Care Types such as Exempt or Family Friend and Neighbor see descriptions for all Care Types.

If You Can’t Find Care

If you are unable to find care on the Care About Childcare® website – Don’t Panic! Your local Care About Childcare Agency can help you in your search. Your Care About Childcare Agency has Referral Counselors who can assist you over the phone. Find your Care About Childcare Agency.

Thank you for Caring About Childcare!