I'm considering unlicensed child
care. How can I make sure that my child will be safe?
If you arrange to have your children taken care of in your own home or
in an unlicensed child care program, use the checklists in
the answer to the question "When I visit a potential child
care program, what should I look for?" to make sure that
your children are in a safe and healthy environment and that
the caregivers help your children learn and grow.
If you do not know the caregiver well, ask other people who
know the caregiver to tell you about her/him. Ask questions
such as, "How does she/he get along with children?" and
"When the children are playing outside, who is with them and
what are they doing?" Also, ask any other questions that are
important to you. The answers will help you decide if this
child care provider can give your children safe, healthy,
and good care.
Additionally, contact Missouri's Family Care Safety Registry
to request background information on the child care provider
in question. The Registry was established by law to protect
children and the elderly and to promote family and community
safety by providing background information on potential
caregivers. Beginning in January 2001, families and
employers can call the registry's toll-free telephone line
for background information (1-866-422-6872). To learn more,
Remember, child care in your own home and unlicensed child care programs may not be as dependable as other child care programs. To guarantee that you have child care when you need it, make backup arrangements for your children in case of an emergency.
Sara Gable, Ph.D., Human Development and Family Studies, College of Human Environmental Sciences, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Thursday, November 06, 2008