The Best Care for Your Child
Why Choose a FCCLH?
Some would argue that there is “no place like home” for your child. However, finding a quality Family Child Care Learning Home (FCCLH) Provider is definitely the next best thing.
FCCLH Providers are small business owners who care for and educate a select group of children in their homes. They are registered in Georgia by Bright from the Start: Department of Early Care and Learning (BFTS-DECAL).
The vast majority of families who use family child care are families who need safe, stable and high-quality care for their children while they’re at work or in a training program preparing to enter the work force. Some FCCLH Providers work over 60 hours a week, and many offer care during non-traditional hours including early morning, evenings or nights, weekends and sometimes, even holidays. This convenience can be important for demanding and non-traditional careers such as nurses, flight attendants, and first responders.
FCCLH Providers generally care for infants and toddlers, and they may also offer before and after school care, especially for children who were in their programs as infants and toddlers. This provides continuity for the children as well as peace of mind for the parents.
Parents have many options when it comes to choosing child care and are encouraged to explore all their options and visit many different providers before making this very important decision. Many families appreciate the benefits of a FCCLH where early childhood educators intentionally elect to care for a smaller number of children in the comfort of their homes.
Here are some reasons to consider family care.
• Children Receive Care in a Home Situation:
Family child care is an attractive option for many families because the setting is essentially a home away from home. Quality care providers offer families the comfort of care in a setting similar to what children are accustomed to in their own home, complete with a living room, play area, kitchen, back yard and bathrooms. FCCLH Providers often treat their enrolled children as extended members of their own family, and a smaller number of children in their care allows “family” outings to the park or story hour, or even nature hikes or sidewalk strolls. Meals are usually served family style in a central dining area, and comfort, familiarity, and the resulting small group activities are added benefits.
• Child-Provider Ratios are Small:
Licensed home providers operate within the regulations specified by BFTS-DECAL and one of those requirements is how many children can be kept by any one family child care provider. While the number may vary, providers may care for six children, but some providers choose to keep less. A day care center’s group size may be larger, and it is easy to understand why family child care can be a preferred option for many families. When considering traditional child care centers as an option, an important question to ask is how many children will be cared for during the day, and whether that number may change.
• FCCLHs are Close and Convenient:
Family Child Care Learning Homes are often found in the same neighborhoods, or near where you live, so convenience plays a key role. Depending on the provider, some may even offer transportation to and from schools or enrichment activities for working parents.
• Infant Care Feels Right at Home:
While some parents prefer to move their preschooler to a Pre-K setting prior to entering school to become used to more children and activities, many families like the smaller and calmer home setting for infants and young children. Nurseries at daycare centers can sometimes appear to look institutional, which can be upsetting to new and experienced parents. However, having a provider who can care for a child in a home setting with only one or two babies is an appealing and comforting option.
• Training and Experience is Often Superior:
Every family child care provider will have different experiences and training classes, so ask about them. But all registered providers are required to complete safety training, have their homes inspected by state regulators for health and safety requirements, and have gone the extra mile for the children and their parents. Check with your state about what you should look for with a licensed care provider. If you choose to use unregulated care, be sure you understand what the implications are of that as well. Parents are usually most comfortable with experienced providers who receive ongoing training.
• Turnover is Low:
While teachers may come and go in commercial day care settings, many FCCLH Providers tend to keep the same children from birth until they are ready for kindergarten. This creates a strong bond between the provider and the child and with parents as they work together to help raise the child. Research confirms that provider continuity and adult cooperation surrounds each child with care and promotes healthy brain development.
• Parents and Providers Work as Team:
Parents get to know providers on a personal level because they interact with them and their families in a home environment. This interaction naturally leads to parents and providers forming a relationship and teaming together to raise the child. Issues concerning food choices, potty training, and discipline can be resolved through ongoing communications. Parents should learn the provider’s philosophy and routine, and providers should see how the parents’ requests can be included while ensuring all the needs of all the child are fulfilled.
• Some Family Providers Have Strong Networks:
Many FCCLH Providers develop a strong network with other providers. National and state associations offer training and support and local associations of providers get together to talk and exchange ideas about activities, problems, and new ways to improve the care of children. This is good news for parents, who are receiving up-to-date information and advice from uniquely informed providers.
• Cost is On Par with Other Child Care Options:
Cost is almost always a consideration by families when choosing child care. Rates will vary greatly depending on where you live and the age of your children, but most FCCLH Providers charge about the same as day care centers. Supply fees that corporate day care centers charge are usually less too. Parents may have greater flexibility with helping with snacks or providing sack lunches, or bringing in diapers or other supplies, to help save on costs. Some providers are also available for parents only needing part-time care or may offer sibling discounts. Parents should be mindful that family child care is a business, and (like commercial centers) providers expect on-time payments as well as the timely drop-off and pick-up of children.
Finding Quality Child Care
1. CALL: 877-ALL-GA-KIDS (1-877-255-4254)
2. SEARCH ONLINE: QualityRated.org
Referral Service Hours
Monday – Thursday: 8:30 am- 8:00 pm
Friday: 8:30 am- 5:00 pm