For Parents

Are you licensed?

By state law, home child care providers are required to be licensed by Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services if they regularly care for more than three unrelated children under the age of 12.  This includes all children residing in the home.

The City of Highland Park supports home child care providers by permitting a resident to provide child care in the home as long there is compliance with DCFS regulations and state laws regarding home child care.

Among basic licensing requirements: A setting has been inspected and meets state standards for health and safety, the caregiver is required to hold a current Infant/Child CPR and First Aid certificate, and all members of the household are required to have an FBI background check and be fingerprinted.

For more specific information on Day Care Homes licensing standards, including health and safety requirements and adult-child ratio, see: Department of Children and Family Services rules: Section 406.

High standard child care in a home environment is a beneficial experience for infants and toddlers when parents must return to work. It is a unique opportunity for young children to interact in a warm home setting with a small group of peers and develop relationships with a responsive, affectionate adult. Early relationships play an important role in developing trust, security and predictability in the infant’s world. The infant/toddler discovers and learns to master challenges of the world through daily interactions

What Do I Need to Know about My Caregiver?
First and foremost parents should remember that a home setting is as individual and flexible as the person providing the care.

Educator/providers offer a range of hours for full and part time care, as well as the possibility of before and/or after-school care for your older children.  The key is to find a setting that is right for you and your child.

What to Look for When Considering Your Child Care Options
1. The caregiver is a nurturing, warm adult, pleasant and positive, is educated in early childhood development and continues to pursue training.

2.  There is a low ratio of children per adult.

3.  The caregiver devotes her day to the children’s needs, offering a consistent routine of play with age appropriate toys.

4. The environment is safe and healthy.

5. Daily naps/rest times are scheduled.

6. Nutritious snacks/meals are served and good health practices are enforced.

7. Television and video viewing is minimal and selected for appropriateness.

8. Activities include exposure to visual arts and to music, rhythm, songs and dances.

9. There are literacy activities such as finger plays and reading books.

10. Daily records are kept on each child’s needs and activities. There is frequent communication with parents.