Steps to Choosing Care
Once you have used the Silver State Stars QRIS database “Search” to find star rated child care programs in your area, there are many things you can do to narrow down your search and locate the program that will work best for your family.
VISIT AND ASK QUESTIONS
Call the child care programs that you are interested in. Check with the program that they have a vacancy for your child’s age and that the program is open during the hours you need care. Then you will want to schedule a time for a visit. Try and visit as many programs as you can so you can see all the options you have.
DURING YOUR VISIT YOU MAY WANT TO:
ASK. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure you see all the areas of the program where your child will be, including the sleeping, outside and eating areas. Are the children watched at all times, including outside and while they are asleep? Do adults and children wash their hands often? Is the play space organized and are materials easy to use? Can your child access toys and materials throughout the day? Are positive behavior guidance techniques used? Click on these links to find more things you can look for and ask about during your visit: Essentials for Your Child Care Visit and Is this the Right Place for my Child?
LOOK. Spend some time in the program observing the interactions between caregivers and children. Are the caregivers warm and welcoming? Do caregivers engage in conversation with the children? Do caregivers read to the children? Check out this list to learn more.
COUNT. Ask how many children there are for each adult (Adult/Child Ratios). You will want to inquire about how much attention your child will get throughout the day. Fewer children for each adult may be better for your child. Find out how many children are in the group or classroom (Group Size). Small groups may be better.
ASK. Ask about the caregivers’ training, education and experience. Caregivers with training and/or degrees in working with children may be better able to help your child learn. Check how long caregivers have been providing care at that program. It may be best if your child can stay with the same caregiver at least a year.
LICENSING CARE TYPE
There are different types of licensed and regulated child care programs in Nevada. Below is information on each type to assist in you making an informed decision.
FAMILY CHILD CARE means a provider is licensed to do child care in their home. The adult/child ratios are 1 adult to 6 children with no more than 2 children under the age of 1, or 1 adult to 6 children with no more than 4 children under the age of 2.
FAMILY GROUP CHILD CARE means a provider is licensed to do child care in their home. The adult/ratios are 2 adults to 7-12 children with no more than 4 children under the age of 2.
CHILD CARE CENTER means child care provided in a non-residential setting on a regular schedule. The number of children allowed will be determined by the facility's total square footage and total number of staff.
SCHOOL AGE ONLY means child care provided in a non-residential setting for school age children only (ages 5-12). Some programs may be legally licensed exempt. Many licensed centers and licensed family child care programs also take school age children. The Nevada Silver State Stars website only lists programs that are participating in Nevada’s Silver State Stars. To see a list of Licensed Centers and Licensed Family Child Care that accept school age children, follow these Steps to finding licensed child care.
IF YOU CAN’T FIND CARE
If you are unable to find care on the Nevada Silver State Stars QRIS website – Don’t Panic! Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) Agency can help you in your search. Your Child Care Resource and Referral Agency has Referral Counselors who can assist you over the phone.
Click here for child care resources.