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ChildcareIf you have to work outside of the home, selecting the right daycare provider is probably the most important thing you will do for your child's well being.  Select a provider that shares your same philosophies, discipline methods, and reward systems. 

Weigh the pros/cons of daycare centers verses daycare homes - sample below:

Centers Homes
(P) - centers are always staffed and open (C) - if worker is sick or on vacation you have to find a alternate (or miss work)
(P) - your child is less likely to be alone with a worker (C) - unless your worker has an assistant, your child will be alone with the worker...if that's going to be the case, I recommend doing a complete background investigation
(C) - lots of kids...sometimes the child to staff ratio is high (P) - usually homes can give your child more attention...however, depends on worker and ratios
(P) - lots of kids...gives your child lots of practice with social interaction (C) - sometimes homes only care for a handful of children...less chance to interact with different types of children
(C) - lots of kids...lots of germs and most centers won't care for your child if they are sick (P) - less kids...less germs and some homes will care for your child even if they are sick
most centers are structured, depends on child if this is a pro or con most homes are flexible, depends on child if this is a pro or con

Prepare a list of questions before calling, include things like:

Daycare Centers:

  • How long have you been the director at this site? (stability of center/mgmt)
  • What qualifications do you require your staff to have?
  • What is your current child to staff ratio?

Daycare Homes:

  • How long have you been a childcare provider?
  • What made you choose childcare? (are they in for the money or convenience, or because they love children?)
  • Do you have any other type of home business? (will the worker be focused on or pestered by your child?)
  • What are your qualifications?
  • How many other children do you care for? (are they close to or over ratio?)
  • Do you have a special area of your home for the children?
  • Do you have any pets?
  • Does anyone in your home smoke?


  • Tell me about a child's typical day under your care
  • What is your method of discipline?
  • What type of reward systems do you use?
  • How would you react if _______?
  • What is your sick policy?
  • What days are you closed for holidays?
  • Do you have ______ (your child's favorite toy, game or activity)...if not, can I donate one?

ChildCareAware is committed to helping parents find the best information on locating quality childcare and childcare resources. 800.424.2246 www.childcareaware.org

Curious on What It Takes? Read the summary of licensing standards for daycare centers, daycare homes, etc. www.state.il.us/dcfs/daycare/index.shtml

DCFS Information Line at 877/746-0829 provides information on providers such as; capacity limitations, licensing violations, etc.  A must call before you agree to have anyone care for your child 

DuPage Easter Seals currently has a wait list, so get on list a.s.a.p. www.easter-seals.org

Fun Time Junction has a unique center available through Villa Park's Iowa Community Center, they have a partnership with NEDSRA so qualifying children can have a dedicated/trained Leisure Buddy with them during the day! www.vprd.org/ftj.htm

Illinois Sex Offender Information www.isp.state.il.us/sor/

YWCA Childcare Resource and Referral Line DuPage Location - 630.790.8009 Subsidy Dept., 630.790.8137 Resource and Referral Various locations www.ywcadupage.org/ccrrmain.htm


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