My first babysitter was an old woman who lived two streets over from the house I grew up in. I am intentionally choosing to use the word “babysitter” and not “caregiver” because she did in fact sit on me once. Accidentally of course, before she realized where I was, but it happened nonetheless. Her home was cluttered with old magazines and clothing from past decades and her couches were itchy and smelled like stale smoke. Even at the age of four I believed that she was a witch. She had long yellowing nails and a sharp cackle in her laugh. She was also the only woman I knew who still swept her floors with a broom. It was the latter half of the twentieth century and there was no excuse for her not to have a vacuum.

In the afternoons we would eat our lunch on unwashed T.V. trays. Some kind of mysterious casserole would be served, usually half cold and partially liquefied. Instead of playing I’d be forced to sit through an hour of One Life to Live because the old woman couldn’t wait to see what “That little tart Blair” was up to. It may come as no surprise that my mother eventually discontinued her services. Out of resources and unable to find a part-time position, she was forced to quit her job so that she could stay home with me. Unfortunately, my mother wasn’t familiar with Action for Children. If she had been then maybe today I would be able to enjoy casserole without feeling an eerie shudder rush down my spine after taking a bite and she could have kept her job.

There are many things to consider when looking for child care. There are child care centers and individuals who offer care within their own homes, known as family child care providers (FCC). Centers can offer more activities for children as well as more stability for parents. Usually centers are equipped with substitute caregivers making it less likely that they will be unable to watch your child because they are ill or have an emergency.  However, centers cater to a larger group size whereas FCC providers care for fewer children at one time. Type A providers are licensed by the state and can handle up to twelve children but must have a second staff member assisting them after six. There are only three Type A’s in Franklin county. Type B providers are unlicensed but are certified or registered through the county. Type B’s are only allowed to care for six children with a maximum of three under the age of two. FCC provides more flexibility to parents who have non-traditional schedules because these providers are able to choose their own hours.

If you are looking for childcare and are unsure where to begin, consider making us your first step! We have referral specialists on staff who are ready to work with you one on one to accommodate your needs. We understand that many parents have unique work schedules with hours extending past five o’clock or even into the weekends. Finding reliable child care that fits into your life as well as your budget is no easy task. Here at Action for Children we have the resources to help you.

When seeking child care through Action for Children there are two options to consider. Those needing assistance can call our office and ask to speak with a referral specialist or simply email them directly at childcareresources@actionforchildren.org. If you choose to email us please include your personal information along with the child’s name, birthdate or age, days and hours of needed care, and the type of care you are interested in. These four basic questions guide our search enabling us to find services that meet your needs. If you make the decision to call, a referral specialist will advise you over the phone before emailing you a list of possible choices for child care. Action for Children does not make recommendations based on the quality of care in homes or centers. This free service generates child care referrals based on your needs.

For over forty years Action for Children has pushed for quality care for children. Our staff consists of educated men and women who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of young children and families in their community. No child should be forced to watch soap operas during the day or be shoved outside in the cold to “play” with nothing in the backyard but deflated rubber balls and broken dreams! Parents should be allotted the peace of mind they need while working. These are small dreams but they make a big difference! Whether you are looking for care in a home or in a center Action for Children is ready with resources to help you find what you need.

For more information or to speak with one of our referral specialists please call: 614-224-0222

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