Types Of Child Care

What types of child care are available?

When a family calls in need of child care, the Referral Specialist will describe the types of care available and discuss which types of care are most appropriate for the family's needs.Quality child care can happen in any setting, and no one type of care is the "right" choice for your child. Types of care include:

Legally License Exempt Family Child Care is legal, unlicensed care being provided in a residential setting. Exempt family child care providers may care for five or fewer children in addition to any children related to the provider. If an exempt family child care provider wishes to care for families who receive assistance in paying for child care through the CCDF voucher program, they must meet the Health & Safety Standards. Health & Safety Standards include, but are not limited to: criminal history checks, drug testing, First Aid/CPR training, fire safety, safe storage of toxic substances, supervision policy, tobacco/substance abuse policy, and a check of the State Central Registry of Abuse and Neglect.

In order to apply for the CCDF Provider Eligibility Standards contact The Consulting Consortium (TCC) at 317-638-7095 or 866-921-6623.

Licensed Family Child Care Homes refer to licensed care provided in a residential setting. Licensed child care providers may care for 12 or fewer children at any one time on the premises. Child/staff ratios for a licensed child care home are:

  • 12:1 if all children are 3 or older
  • 10:1 for mixed ages from birth to school age and no more than three of the children are younger than 16 months old
  • 6:1 if all children are 24 months or younger
  • 4:1 if all children are younger than 16 months

A Licensed Family Child Care Home that has been licensed for at least one (1) year with no inspection or compliance violations may apply for a "Class II" license.A Class II license enables the home to care for up to 16 children at any one time. Child/staff ratios do not change with a Class II license.

A Licensed Family Child Care Home may also care for three or fewer school age children, who would not be included in the licensed capacity, if certain requirements are met.

Child Care Center refers to a licensed facility designed to provide child care in a commercial facility. Child/staff ratios for child care centers are:

  • 4:1 for infants
  • 5:1 for toddlers
  • 5:1 for two year olds
  • 10:1 for three year olds
  • 12:1 for four year olds
  • 15:1 for five year olds
  • 20:1 for school age children

Registered Ministries are child care programs operated by a religious organization. Registered ministries do not have staff/child ratio requirements. Regulations for registered ministries address basic health and safety, fire safety, and sanitation issues. For more information regarding registered ministries, visit the Carefinder web site.

How do I recognize quality child care?

Quality can happen in any setting, if the adults are committed to providing a safe and nurturing environment.Start your search for child care as early as possible, so you have time to investigate your options.Make sure that you visit the child care options you are considering. Find out about these key indicators of quality:

  • Ask how many children there are for each adult. The fewer the children for each adult, the better for your child.
  • Find out how many children are in the group. The smaller the group, the better.
  • Ask about the caregivers' training and education. Caregivers with special training in working with children will be better able to help your child develop.
  • Check how long the caregivers have been at the center or providing care in their homes. It's best if children stay with the same caregiver at least a year.
  • Find out if the child care provider has been accredited by a national organization. Providers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than most state licensing requirements.

Once you have made your choice, stay involved. You and your child's caregivers are partners now. Visiting and participating in events at your child's provider sends a strong message. It tells your child and your child's caregiver that you think what your child is doing and learning is important.

This information was adapted from a brochure entitled "Give Your Child Something That Will Last a Lifetime... Quality Child Care."To read the full brochure, or for more information regarding selecting child care, visit Child Care Aware.