With many children heading back to school this month, the Ohio Department of Job and Famly Services (ODJFS) and the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) remind parents to visit ChildCareSearch.Ohio.gov when searching for before- and after-school care for their children.
Families can search for child care providers by county, city, zip code, program type and Step Up To Quality rating. Step Up To Quality is Ohio’s five-star tiered quality rating and improvement system, which recognizes programs that exceed minimum health and safety standards and promote children’s learning and development.
Several of those listed are in Richland County, and include private care providers, facilities run by both churches and schools, non-profit organization locations, and others.
“Finding high-quality child care is one of the most important choices parents can make,” said ODJFS Director Cynthia Dungey. “It also can be one of the most difficult choices. ChildCareSearch.Ohio.gov can help make it easier. Parents can use it to find highly rated child care in their area, including home-based care, school-based care and care at child care centers. They can view past inspection reports for programs they’re interested in and then visit those programs to see firsthand whether they’re right for their children.”
“High quality before- and after-school care can expand upon the learning and growth that happens during the school day,” said Paolo DeMaria, superintendent of public instruction. “ChildCareSearch.Ohio.gov is a great resource for parents to find high-quality programs in their neighborhoods and see important information that helps them make the best decisions for their children.”
Programs listed at ChildCareSearch.Ohio.gov serve children of all ages, including infants and preschoolers. All child care programs in Ohio serving more than six children – or more than three children under age 2 – must be licensed. ODJFS and county departments of job and family services are responsible for licensing and inspecting nearly 3,000 family child care homes and more than 4,000 child care facilities throughout the state. ODE is responsible for licensing school-age child care programs operated by public schools, educational service centers, community schools, boards of developmental disabilities and chartered nonpublic schools.
Both ODJFS and ODE programs may participate in Step Up To Quality. Starting in 2020, all programs that provide publicly funded child care must participate in Step Up To Quality.