Choosing the Right Child Care
Every child care program is different. This can make it challenging to compare programs and determine which best suits the needs of your child and family. Luckily, we have a few tips to help you judge quality in child care programs.
Types of Child Care
The first step in selecting a child care program is determining the type of program you prefer. Wisconsin has four kinds of regulated child care programs, defined by size and location.
Family Child Care: This care is offered inside a child care provider’s home, and can serve a maximum of eight children under age 7. Children of all ages can be cared for and create a community in the same space.
Group Child Care: This care takes place in a commercial building specifically used for child care. Children typically stay in one classroom with consistent classmates and teachers/care providers, and transition to new developmentally appropriate classrooms as they grow older. At all times, staff must maintain staff-to-child ratios and maximum group sizes based on the age of the children.
Certified Child Care: This is care offered inside a home, and can serve a maximum of three children under age 7.
Day Camp: This care is offered seasonally, and can serve four or more children ages 3 and up.
Your local Child Care Resource & Referral Agency (CCR&R) is an excellent place to begin your child care search. Your CCR&R will help you conduct a personalized search for local providers that have spaces available and meet your needs, including location, care type, hours, special needs care, and more.