Finding childcare can be a daunting and expensive task. There is, however, a veritable one-stop shopping resource for families who are currently looking for childcare. Child Care Resources provides resources and referral information to families across Washington state.
“Our call center staff provide resources and referrals for families looking for high-quality child care,” explains Elana Sims, the Family Resource Center Lead at CCR. “The staff are able to educate parents about high-quality child care, walk them through actually visiting a site, what questions to ask providers, and giving parents the tools they’ll need.”
When looking for infant care, many first-time parents are shocked to discover the wild world of waitlists. “There is absolutely a desperate need for more infant care,” says Sims. “We suggest that families call us even before their child is born. Families will run into the problem of sites being full — giving us a call early can help ease the stress.”
If you’re already a new parent and your search has just begun, don’t panic. “If a family can’t find a licensed program, we can talk to them about how to reach out to neighbors. To rely on family, friends and neighbors can be huge if they’re unable to find infant care,” says Sims.
Along with customized lists of childcare providers, CCR provides families with information about the cost of the care provided by each referral. “Cost is listed on the referrals for each of the age groups that a provider supplies care for. We give families a sheet of rates that include average rate of care for providers in their area,” Sims says. “Families can then compare their provider’s rates to the average rates of care and decide if that provider’s rates will work for their family.”
For more information on childcare providers, costs and subsidy information, contact the Child Care Resources call center at 206-329-5544 or 1-800-446-1114. To search their online database: childcare.org