As a parent, finding the right child care option for your little one can be a daunting task. With so many options available in Central New York, it's important to understand the different types of programs and how to find the one that best meets your needs and those of your child. The State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) funds Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (CCRR) to help parents locate the right program. You can contact a regional office in the Child Care Services Division to get the licensing and regulatory compliance history of any child care provider who has or has had an OCFS license.
Additionally, county Departments of Social Services (in New York City, the Human Resources Administration and the Children's Services Administration) will determine family eligibility based on income, the reasons for needing daycare, and the child's age and individual needs. Regulated programs must limit the number of children each adult cares for according to standards established in the regulations. Care can be provided during non-school hours, school vacation periods, and holidays. QualityStarsNY is New York's Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) for early childhood programs, which provides support and resources to improve and maintain high quality throughout New York State. The state Office of Family Services (OCFS) maintains a toll-free hotline for child care complaints throughout the state, at 1-800-732-5207. Kieran's law only applies to caregivers who provide child care in the child's home for 15 hours or more a week. School-age child care programs provide care for more than six children from kindergarten to twelve years old. To find licensed day care in New York City (also known as group child care services), use this resource to search by county.
For more information on how to select quality child care, CALL 1-800-345-KIDS to request a copy of the How You Think About Child Care brochure. On October 27, 1998, the Kieran Act went into effect, which allows parents and guardians of children to access information about New York State criminal records about potential domestic caregivers, sometimes called nannies, that they are considering hiring.
Tips for Finding Quality Child Care in Central New YorkWhen searching for quality child care in Central New York, there are several factors to consider. First, make sure that any program you are considering is licensed by OCFS. This ensures that it meets certain standards of safety and quality. Additionally, you should ask about staff qualifications and training.
Quality programs will have staff members with experience in early childhood education or related fields. It is also important to visit potential programs in person. This will give you an opportunity to observe how staff interact with children and get a feel for the overall environment. Finally, make sure that you understand all fees associated with the program before enrolling your child.
Kieran's LawKieran's Law was enacted on October 27, 1998 to protect children from potential harm by allowing parents and guardians access to information about New York State criminal records about potential domestic caregivers they are considering hiring. This law applies only to caregivers who provide child care in the child's home for 15 hours or more a week.
ConclusionFinding quality child care in Central New York can be a challenge but with the right resources and information it is possible.
By understanding your options and researching potential programs thoroughly, you can ensure that your child is safe and well cared for while you are away.