The staff at the Helpline Center says that knowing your child's strengths and needs will help you in choosing a child program that's the right fit for your family.
Experts recommend spending time and thought when deciding what child care option is the best fit. It's a process parents spend a lot of time on, finding the best care for their children.
"If they prefer an in home provider they can get them a list of child care providers in their area. And then what I help them do is select quality child care by going through that interview process." Helpline Child Resource Coordinator, Jamie DuVall said,
"I'm not in this for the money, I know the going rate around Sioux Falls is around $170 and I charge way less than that. I am here to love their children and to give them a good safe place while they are gone and not take as much money out of their pocket as I can," in-home child care provider, Barbra Boedecker said.
Boedecker has been running an in home day care facility for almost ten years.
"I started in 2006 when I lived in Madison and I did daycare for a few years there and I got started because I had four young children and finding the quality care and care that I could afford was tough," Boedecker said.
But it didn't take long for her business to take off.
"I started getting licensed with both the city and the state and from there it just took off and it's the most rewarding job I have ever had," Boedecker said.
After becoming aware of what happened to former Sioux Falls day care provider Connie Edwards, who pleaded guilty in March to misdemeanor child neglect, it's a job Boedecker says she doesn't take for granted.
"Well just say the number of kids I heard she was caring for, that in itself was disturbing I just feel that some of the state guidelines that were broken, it kind of set a wrap or a tone for the rest of the daycares and I feel like there are a large number of us that uphold these regulations for the safety of these children," Boedecker said.
The case stems from the summer of 2011 when 4-month-old Meredith Ulmer accidently died in Edwards care. At the time she had twice as many children allowed by city ordinance.
"I am not say at all that she was neglectful because I don't know the full situation but in my opinion I would consider myself neglectful even having my helper fulltime, to have that many children in my care at one time, I just could not give them what they possibly need to ensure their safety," Boedecker said.
Boedecker admits she's grateful for the guidelines that are put in place to ensure the safety for children.
"I can say it's not my own feelings I'm going by these are state guidelines and they help, they can help and they are there for a reason. I first thought, man this is a lot to go through just to have my dream but in actuality, I am glad that these are in place," Boedecker said.
During the interview process the staff from the Helpline says to look, listen and count.
Look for a cozy home-like setting and a clean and safe environment. Listen for happy and engaged children and teachers. Also, count the number of children in each group and the number of caregivers to make sure they are following the city and state ratio requirements.
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