A staff of experienced Resource Specialists are available to answer phone calls (con servicios en español) from any parent with:
Professional assistance in evaluating child care needs
Current and detailed information on child care options, including:
— Child care centers
— Before and after school programs
— Family child care homes
— Summer programs for children
— Nursery schools
— Resources for finding in-home care
— Head Start programs
Back-Up Solutions - a list of child care programs available for drop in child care
Administration of child care financial assistance program for qualified families
Guidelines and resource material for selecting quality care, including what to look for and what questions to ask
Finding Child Care Providers
CCRS Referral Database
Who is Listed?
CCRS maintains a database of over 1000 child care providers in our six county area. This voluntary registry includes licensed and license-exempt family homes, centers, preschools and afterschool programs. A separate resource listing is available with information on "in home" child care services and includes Nanny Agencies and Au Pair services.
Un-biased referrals to providers are done by computer selections that match the needs of parents. CCRS is not a monitoring agency and does not endorse or recommend one provider over another. A listing with CCRS is not a guarantee of quality.
Referral services are free to those families that meet income eligibilty guidelines. Sliding scale fees buy one year of service for other families and range from $10 to $30 depending on family size and income. Referral lists are available by email, mail, or fax.
Information gathered for each family during the initial intake is kept on file for one year and remains confidential.
During the intake conversation, the Resource Specialist can help answer questions concerning quality of care, average costs for care and help develop an action plan for finding the type of child care arrangements sought using the referral list.
A follow-up survey is available to parents to ensure our quality of service standards.
Searching for Quality in Child Care
Obtaining the referral list from CCRS is only the first step in finding child care. The most important step is searching for "Quality" which begins with the process of interviewing potential caregivers. The following points are good ways to measure the quality of a child care home or center. The checklist can be used to help you focus your observations as you visit different child care settings.
Does the caregiver appear to be warm, calm and friendly?
Do the caregivers get down to each child's level to speak to the child?
Does the caregiver seem to enjoy children?
Are children greeted when they arrive?
Does the caregiver speak directly and positively to the children?
Does the caregiver set limits in a way that does not punish or shame children?
Do you agree with the discipline, toilet learning, napping and/or feeding policies?
Does the program respond to the changes in children's interests and abilities?
Does the provider listen to what you want for your child and ask questions about how you do things?
Is the atmosphere bright and pleasant?
Is there an outdoor play area with a variety of safe equipment?
Are there different areas for resting, quiet play and active play?
Is there a fairly consistent schedule from one day to the next?
Is there a balance of active and quite times throughout the day?
Are the toys clean, safe and attractively displayed at eye level?
Are there activities that your child likes to do?
Are books available to the children to look at? Are stories read to the children daily?
Are there enough toys and learning materials for the number of children?
Do you hear the sounds of happy children?
Is the program licensed or regulated?
Does the program have an accredidation from an early childhood organization?
If you would like to check your knowledge about quality take our interactive 6 question mini-quiz.
Contact Us | CCRS, 314 Bevier, 905 S Goodwin, Urbana IL 61801
217-333-3252, 1-800-325-5516, (TTY: 217-244-9666), FAX: 217-333-2147 Hours: Mon., Wed., Thurs., Fri. 8:30am to 4:30pm Tues. 11:00am to 4:30pm
Web Development Specialist: Martha Thompson (2006)