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Child Care: This is Not Just Babysitting

by Sheila Anzlovar, Program Director

Being a licensed family child care provider could be the career for you.   Ask yourself the following questions: Do I enjoy working with children? Am I knowledgeable about child development or willing to learn more about child development? Am I ready to be a professional business owner? Would I like to be able to set my own hours and/or wages?  Would I like to work at home so that I can stay at home with my own children? Am I willing to open my home to other families and to have my home inspected by the Child Care Licensing Agency? Is my family supportive of my plans to operate a family child care home, and are they willing to get health evaluations and criminal background checks? Am I willing to meet all licensing requirements and, if required, make changes to my home (e.g. plug covers on all outlets, covered trash cans)? If you answered yes to these questions then being a licensed family child care provider may offer you a rewarding and challenging career opportunity.

 If you care for more than one family’s children, not related to you, on a regular basis in your home, legally you need a family child care license. These high quality early education and care settings provide safe places for children to grow, offer good nutrition, provide environments for socialization, physical development and learning. These are all things that contribute to a child's healthy development.

 In addition to providing care for children of working parents, licensed family child care providers are able to make a good income for their family while staying home with their own children.  With parent fees and income from the federal food program, in most areas licensed providers bring in an average of $2,000 each month and sometimes as much as $3,000 (before expenses).  Licensed family child care is a good income source for families. 

The first step in the process to become licensed is to call the Northeast Colorado Child Care Resource and Referral at 970-848-3867 x 23.  Potential providers will speak with a trained staff member who will discuss the positives and the challenges of being a family child care provider, as well as provide an overview of the licensing process itself. Staff have licensing applications that they can send you and will answer any questions you might have.

Northeast Colorado Child Care Resource and Referral has been providing services in Cheyenne, Kiowa, Kit Carson, Lincoln, Logan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma Counties since 1993.  They are a program of the Rural Communities Resource Center and receive funding from the Colorado Department of Human Services and the Lincoln and Yuma County Departments of Human Services.