Child Care Topics
We provide a variety of information and services for families. Our trained Family Connections Specialists are available to help you with your parenting questions and concerns. Some of the issues we can help you with include:
Assistance in locating child care providers in your area that meet your family’s specific needs
Information about quality care for children
Child care guidelines to assist you on visits to child care programs
Help determining if your family is eligible for subsidized care
Information about how to locate and hire in-home caregivers
If you suspect or observe a child in imminent danger call 911 immediately. If you suspect child abuse, maltreatment or neglect call the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register at 800-342-3720/TTY 800-638-5163.
To check the complaint history of a program, visit the NYS Office of Children and Family Services website at www.ocfs.state.ny.us or call the Spring Valley Regional Licensing Office at (845) 708-2400 or Toll Free at (800) 732-5207.
To check the specific complaint history of all registered and family and school-age care programs in Rockland County, call Child Care Resources of Rockland at (877) 425-0009 x487.
An Important First Step:
Parents should always check the licensing records of any child care program that they are considering to use for their child or children. They should inquire about the regulatory history, occurrences of any serious citations and the complaint history of a program to make sure the child care provider is in good standing with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services and that there are no unresolved citations. Call the numbers listed above or visit www.ocfs.state.ny.us for licensing history and any regulatory violations. Then decide where you feel comfortable leaving your children and if it is the best fit for your family. This is a crucial step to ensure a quality child care placement and a vital component of a comprehensive search for the right child care program.
Six Quality Indicators
Group size has a positive impact on the overall quality of early and school-age care and education programs and the experiences that children have in those programs. Smaller group size is important in maintaining proper supervision, quality care and enough one-on-one attention for each child in care.
Similar to group size, the adult to child ratio also has a positive impact on the overall quality of a child's experience in care. Consult the descriptions below to find out more about adult to child ratio for the different types of child care.
Health and Safety
A major concern of parents when they drop their children off at a child care program, is the safety of their children in the hands of the caregivers. Some things to look for that indicate the program is safe and healthy are working smoke detectors, toys and equipment that are in good condition, food prep areas are separated from the restrooms and diapering areas. The daily routine should also include proper hand-washing and diapering procedures, and direct competent supervision of children at all times. Please note that this is not a full, comprehensive list of items to consider for Health and Safety. Please talk with our Family Connections Specialists for other items you should look for by calling (877) 425-0009.
Parents and families have the most direct and lasting impact on a child. When parents are involved, children are more confident, and feel more comfortable, especially in a new setting. Choosing a program that welcomes parents to come in during the time the child is in care is the first step in getting to know the "important people" in a child care program. Know what is expected of you, and what you can expect from a program. Volunteer to help out at the program, read to the children or go on a field trip. Always keep the lines of communication open. New York State law requires providers to give parents the opportunity to discuss issues related to their children. These opportunities must occur at the time of enrollment and as frequently as needed thereafter, but at least annually. It is the parent's right to know what is happening while their child is in a child care program. Do not hesitate to ask questions.
Caregiver Education and Turnover
Caregivers in child care centers, school-age care programs and registered/licensed family child care programs must receive a minimum of 30 hours of educational training every two years, 15 hours of which must be completed during the first six months of employment in a center or school-age care program. In family/group family child care programs, providers must complete 15 hours of training during the first six months of program registration or licensing.
Accreditation is a voluntary system by which programs measure themselves against a national set of standards. Going beyond minimum licensing standards, accredited programs make a commitment to excellence. Caregivers in accredited programs take part in on-going training. They are more likely to understand children's needs at different ages, plan appropriate activities, interact with children in warm and stimulating ways, and provide positive guidance for children rather than harsh discipline.
Child Care Topics in print friendly format.
Child Care Options
In Home – Au Pairs and Nannies
In-Home Care Qualifications Guidelines
Child Care Centers
Family Child Care
Family Child Care Guidelines
Friends and Relatives
School Age Care
Universal Pre Kindergarten
Child Care Considerations
Average Cost of Care
Stages of Development
Birth to six months
Six to nine months
Nine months to one year
One year to two years nine months
Two years nine months to five years
Five years to 12 years
Communicating with your Provider
Compliance Issues/Important Phone Numbers
What to Look For
Average Cost of Care
Parents and the High Cost of Child Care: 2011 Update
Additional Financial Opportunities
Work and Family
Nursing & Working
Returning to Work