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Child Care Challenges

Overview:
The Child Care Challenges Quick Guide is for parents/caregivers who may be struggling to generate adequate income to provide stable child care. Also due to cultural differences, some parents do not want to leave their children under another person’s care.  They may be unaware of the legislation and regulations in the child care industry or unsure of the laws associated with child supervision.  Others may understand the system, but need assistance finding and paying for child care.  Whereas others may only need assistance with switching child care providers.

GOAL:
The goal of the Child Care Challenges Quick Guide is to assist families with finding the right childcare for their children that meets their life situation. As well as to ensure their childcare meets the safety and learning needs of their children.  (To assist family with finding the right childcare, consider looking at the 5 steps to finding childcare ).

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS:

  • There is no denying the fact that child care is expensive! However, for many families trying to make ends meet, working outside the home is necessary to cover the cost of living. For low income families, there are state subsidy programs to help with the cost. These programs are need based and are based upon income and meeting other criteria (For more information, see DSHS subsidy programs).
  • There are many types of child care providers available, ranging from Child Care Centers, which often have more strict schedules and rules they must follow, all the way to relative caregivers.  Most child care providers are qualified to receive state subsidies, granted the provider passes a required back ground check and has the legal right to work in the United States. (For more information, see types of child care providers).

WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
Unfortunately, not all child care centers are the same. There are some that really excel in providing an excellent learning environment for children, whereas others only meet minimum state requirements, assuming that they are licensed at all. To evaluate the quality of a center, consider looking over the Child Care Provider Checklist.

TAKE ACTION:
For assistance in finding child care resources including information on Child Care Aware, Preschool Programs, and after school care look into the Child Care Resource Tool.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
Eastern Washington Average Child Care Rates