Child Care Resource and Referral at John A. Logan College Back to JALC

Finding Child Care

Choosing the right child care, Pre-kindergarten or Head Start program is an important decision for any family. CCR&R can provide parents and families with information on child care and early education programs in the southern fifteen counties including:

Child Care Centers

Child Care Centers serve more than eight (8) children in a facility. Children in child care centers are typically in rooms with other children near their own age. Centers can serve children from ages 6 weeks to 12 years of age. Hours and fees vary from center to center. Most child care centers in the area are licensed by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) who sets minimum standards for health,safety, staff qualifications, programs, activity requirements, group size, and child to staff ratios. In addition to basic qualifications, center staff must complete fifteen (15) hours of in-service training each year. These facilities are also inspected by the Department of Public Health and the Office of the State Fire Marshal. Inspections of licensed facilities happen at least once a year. To review licensing agencies and staff-to-child ratios for centers in our state, check out the National Child Care Information Center website and click on "Illinois".

Some child care centers are exempt from licensing. These include programs operated by public or private elementary school system, churches, high school or institution of higher learning as well as programs conducted on federal premises. These also include programs recognized by the Illinois State Board of Education, if children in the program are over the age of three (3).

To learn more go to http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/library/com_communications_sumlicen_dcc.shtml

Family Child Care

Family Child Care Homes serve more than three (3), up to a maximum of fifteen (15) children under the age of thirteen in a home setting. This includes the provider's own and related children. Hours and fees vary. The Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) also licenses family child care using standards which are different than those for child care centers, set specifically for the smaller, home based environments. Family child care is designed to be less structured and provide children with more flexibility to play and rest on different schedules. Licensed family child care providers must complete fifteen(16) hours of in-service training each year to maintain their license.
Individuals caring for less than 3 children including their own under the age of thirteen) do not need to be licensed in Illinois.

To learn more go to http://www.state.il.us/dcfs/library/com_communications_sumlicen_dch.shtml

Head Start Programs

Head Start is a national program, which provides comprehensive developmental services for primarily low-income, pre-school children ages three-five and social services for their families. Specific services for children focus on education, socio-emotional development, physical and mental health and nutrition. The cornerstone of the program is parent and community involvement which has made it one of the most successful pre-school programs in the country.

Learn more at http://www.ilheadstart.org

ISBE Pre-Kindergarten Programs

The Illinois State Board of Education provides funding for pre-school programs administered through local school districts and in partnership with child care centers. These programs are usually half-day, although some programs have recently expanded to include wrap around child care services. Pre-kindergarten focuses on school readiness with a high priority on family involvement. Often the program includes a home visit component. Criteria for admittance to these programs varies by school district/ program.

Learn more at http://www.isbe.net/earlychi/

Preschools or Nursery Schools

Preschools can be a good program option for parents who are looking for a social and learning environment for their child on a morning or afternoon schedule. Preschools enroll children aged two years nine months to five years of age, and may run on a school-year calendar. There are various types of preschool programs available, from a traditional program to a program that follows a Montessori or Reggio Emilia approach. Knowing your child and his/ her needs will help you to determine what type of preschool environment will suit him/her best.

School Age Care

School-age care is care that is provided for children ages 5 years to 12 years, 11 months of age. This type of care can be found in a public or private school setting, as well as in recreation centers, or child care centers. There is usually one director and a staff of teachers, all trained in school-age care and related activities. Group sizes are determined by state regulations, and programs are licensed by individual states.

School-age care can be provided in the afternoon (after school hours) and in the mornings (before school begins) and during summer months.

Program’s listings include information such as ages served, hours and days of operation, fees, provider qualifications, special programming, and willingness to work with the child care assistance program (CCAP). This, along with other information that is available, can assist families in making an informed decision.

To receive information on programs in your area call Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) at 1-800-548-5563.

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