For working parents with young children, high-quality child care isn’t a luxury—it is a necessity. Finding the right kind of child care allows parents to focus on their professional roles, with the peace of mind and confidence that their children are in a safe and loving environment. This is where the Child Care Council comes in.
The Child Care Council is a nonprofit child care resource and referral agency in Rochester that helps people find the right child care environment for their children. What many organizations don’t realize is that this service is a free benefit that can be offered to their employees.
“Offering this benefit says something about a company,” says Brian Waldmiller, Child Care Council’s chief financial officer.
“A child care-friendly employer is one that is looking out for the best interest of their staff, especially parents, by helping them find something that’s necessary for them to work.
“We’re an underutilized service.”
Waldmiller speaks from experience. He used the expertise at the council to find child care options for his children. When he started working there, he needed to find the right environment for his then 1-year-old, Claire, and later his newborn, Carolyn.
The CCC Benefits
Typically, when it comes to finding child care providers, parents rely heavily on word-of-mouth and a online databases. By going through the council, parents can get the results of a much higher quality search and the benefit of working with people knowledgeable about local child care options, Waldmiller says.
The Waldmillers’ original web search did not provide any useful information or answers. But Child Care Council came up with 26 names. Having a personal touch makes all the difference when selecting child care, Waldmiller says.
“Online searches have many different variables you can input, and some of these may knock out viable possibilities,” he says. “By talking with our referral specialists, Child Care Council can find information that a parent wants included.”
Make It Personal
Selecting a person or staff to care for your children is an emotional decision. Child Care Council monitors the names of licensed child care providers for potential legal issues, and its staff visits them on a regular basis.
They also help parents learn the nuanced differences between each provider.
There are three types of child care providers:
- Single-family provider. This is one individual who cares for one family with up to eight children.
- Group-family provider. This environment has a larger capacity than the single-family provider with one or more hired assistants helping care for the children, maintaining permissible adult-to-child ratios.
- Child care center. Centers are larger facilities with multiple children in each age bracket.
There is a bit of flex within each child care environment. A single-family provider may only care for one or two children of similar ages or offer a more family-style arrangement with kids of varying ages. This is why the council’s regular contact with providers is critical. There may be other factors to take into account, as well, like how well providers can deal with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, food allergies, speech impairments and medical conditions.
Acquiring in-depth knowledge about different child care options means parents get rid of preconceived notions, and open their minds to an array of solutions. That’s what happened with Waldmiller. Claire was in a single-family provider that was wonderful for her. But for Carolyn, the Waldmillers ultimately decided a child care center was the best choice.
Working with Child Care Council to find the right provider for your family is easy. Parents call the council and are put in touch with a referral specialist. They also get a packet of information to help them through the process.
“Every call that comes in, we treat that one individual,” Waldmiller says. “Every parent and child situation is unique.”