Information and quality important to Hoosiers seeking child care

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on February 22, 2011 with No Comments

In Indiana, 66 percent of children under the age of 5 are in some type of child care arrangement outside of the home. Research shows that 85 percent of a child’s capacity to learn is determined during the first five years of life. The brain development of young children is directly influenced by the relationships and environments they experience. Therefore, it is essential that families have the tools, information and resources they need to make informed decisions about the child care providers they choose for their children.

The Indiana Association for Child Care Resource and Referral has published Parents and Child Care in Indiana (2010), a compilation of parents’ responses regarding their success in locating and selecting child care after they accessed the services of Child Care Resource and Referral agencies.

“We found that, first and foremost, parents want a safe environment for their children and caregivers who are experienced and trained to care for and educate their children.” Marsha Thompson, executive director of IACCRR said. “Parents also want information and they use it directly in how they search for care and how they select care. It is our goal that all families who are in need of child care referrals or information will access all of our free services.”

IACCRR reports the following findings from Parents and Child Care in Indiana (2010):

CCR&R services are valuable to families. In fact, 92 percent of parents responded that the local CCR&R agency helped them make a more informed choice, and 85 percent responded that they knew more about what to look for when trying to find high quality child care after receiving information from the CCR&R.

Parents take action based on information provided. Of families who responded, 92 percent intend to or have asked about caregiver training and education related to caring for children; 80 percent intend to or have contacted other parents for references; and 88 percent intend to or have checked adult-to-child ratios.

Despite the solid efforts by IACCRR and other groups devoted to Indiana’s families and children, some families still encounter challenges securing child care for their children. According to parents who were unable to obtain child care within three weeks of contacting the CCR&R, subsequent barriers included cost, availability and quality.

Child Care Resource and Referral agencies do a good job serving families. This free service offered 80 percent of clients between three and 15 child care referrals. In addition, 95 percent responded that their needs were understood by the CCR&R; 96 percent responded that CCR&R staff was knowledgeable; and 95 percent rated overall services provided as outstanding.

To access the full report, visit www.iaccrr.org. Families who wish to locate their local CCR&R agency may visit www.iaccrr.org for more information.

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