Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child. For more than 40 years, we have helped families just like yours understand how to determine the best child care setting for their child. Our statewide network of child care resources and referral agencies (CCR&Rs) work together to connect families across Kansas to child care in their area.
Call 785-357-5171 in Topeka or 877-678-2548 toll free, and select option “1” to speak with a knowledgeable Resource Specialist. Our Parent Resource Center’s hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will assist you in your child care search by providing a list of licensed child care providers in your area, as well as personalized information that will help you choose the right child care program for your family. All services to parents are at no cost and all information shared is confidential. If you prefer to do your own search or need information outside of our normal business hours, click here to perform your online search.
While we are pleased to provide a free referral service, Child Care Aware® of Kansas/Child Care Aware® of Eastern Kansas cannot legally endorse or recommend any one child care program. The list of facilities you receive are referrals, not recommendations.
Every effort is made to supply you with up-to-date information. Your referral list will contain a list of licensed child care programs and the follow for each program:
- contact information
- days and times care is available
- program vacancy information
- environment description
- child care provider educational qualifications
- child care provider training and accreditation status
We maintain confidentiality of all information we receive from you. Your email address will be used only by Child Care Aware® of Kansas and our agencies. It will not be sold or otherwise distributed.
Enhanced Referral Service in Shawnee County
We now offer enhanced referral services to families in Shawnee County with complex child care situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our Parent's Resource Center staff will conduct an intake with families to gather information about their child care needs and generate a referral list, and contact each provider. This will help narrow the search to only programs that meet the family's criteria and have a current opening for the child, saving the family valuable time choosing child care that meets the needs of their family. For more information or to access this free service, Shawnee County families can call 785-357-5171 and press option "1" to be connected to a resource specialist.
Explore. Know your options. Start looking for child care as soon as you can. Finding the right child care setting may take some time.
Evaluate. Consider your preferences. For example, think about the individual learning style of your child (does he/she prefer small groups or large groups), your family needs, the location and the hours of care.
Observe. Visit at least three programs before making your final decision. Interview prospective child care providers and talk to everyone who will be involved in your child’s care. Plan to spend 30 to 60 minutes at each interview. Take your child with you to see if the program is a good fit for him/her. To help guide you through the interview, refer to the questions in this brochure. Examples of valuable questions include:
- “Are you licensed by the State of Kansas?”
- “What is your adult/child ratio?”
- “How do you partner with families?”
Decide. Think about what you saw at each visit. Refer to your notes and trust your instincts. Pay attention to any uneasy feelings you may have.
Be involved. You and your child care provider are partners now. You have the right to visit your child’s program any time your child is there. Making such visits are one way to monitor the quality of care your child is receiving.
All facilities that provide child care are licensed by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE). KDHE administers the child care licensing laws and issues licenses for child care facilities to protect the health, safety and welfare of children receiving care away from home. Before selecting a child care facility, families can review the licensing history, substantial complaints or current non-compliance issues of a child care facility by clicking here. Requirements for regulated child care can also be found at this link.
Some of the requirements include being certified in first aid and CPR, passing a Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) criminal history and child abuse and neglect background check, and passing a facilities inspection at least once every 12 months to protect the health, safety and well-being of the children in care, etc.
Family Child Care (FCC)
This includes licensed day care homes with one child care provider, or group day care homes with two child care providers. Click here and visit page 4 for capacity details and ratios for FCCs.
Child Care Center (CCC)
This includes a child care facility where care and educational activities are provided for 13 or more children. Learn more about CCCs, including capacity details, by clicking here and visiting page 5.
This includes a child care facility that provides learning experiences for children who are 30 months and older, but not old enough to attend kindergarten. Learn more about preschools by clicking here and visiting page 5.
Before & After School Care
This includes licensed child care that is provided in a home, public school or center for children ages 5 and up, and is available for care outside of public school hours. Some child care programs provide both before and after school care, some just provide before or after, and some will also provide care on days public schools are closed.
Check out the child care provider’s credentials. Research clearly shows that education and specialized training in early childhood practice positively impact the quality of an early learning program.
Is the child care program accredited? Accreditation indicates that a child care program meets nationally recognized guidelines for high-quality early care and education. Learn more about provider credentials and accreditation by clicking here and scrolling to page 5.
If you need further assistance in your child care search, contact a Resource Specialist at 785-357-5171 or 877-678-2548 toll free for additional referrals and creative options that will help in your search. We are committed to helping you find the best information on locating high-quality child care and child care resources in your community. You can also visit the Child Care Aware® of America website by clicking here for additional resources.
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