Find Child Care

Child Care Options

The best type of child care for your child and family depends on your needs. There are three types of child care settings to consider:

  • Child Care Centers
  • Family Child Care
  • In-Home Child Care

Each has its own benefits and limitations. Learn more about your child care options below, or download our First Steps brochure | Primeros pasos: opciones de cuidado infantil (Spanish).

Child Care Centers

Child care centers provide care for groups of children. There are two types of child care centers: licensed and license-exempt. These centers may be Head Start, Early Head Start or Illinois Preschool for Al programs These settings have more availability for children over two years of age and often offer:

  • Daily planned activities
  • Opportunities for building social skills
  • Staff trained in child development and CPR and First Aid
  • Consistent, year-round schedules that do not fluctuate

Family Child Care

Family child care is offered in the home of the child care provider. There are three types of family child care: licensed homes, group homes and license-exempt homes. Typically, this type of care offers:

  • A home environment
  • Daily planned activities
  • Opportunities for flexible schedules
  • Siblings cared for together
  • Care from a single, consistent caregiver
  • Mixed ages of children
  • More availability for infant care
  • Licensed providers are trained in CPR and First Aid
  • Lower staff-to-child ratios

In-Home Child Care

An in-home child care provider cares for your child in your residence. This caregiver could be a nanny, a relative, or an au pair. This type of care is not regulated by DCFS licensing standards. As a parent, you are the employer of the caregiver. In-home care offers:

  • The comfort and stability of being in their own homes for children
  • Potential for a more flexible arrangement
  • Individualized care
  • Ongoing care, even if your child is sick
  • Potential costs savings for families with several children requiring care
  • Control over selecting the individual(s) who will care for your child
  • Convenience of not having to take and pick up your child from another location

For more information, please call 312-823-1100, press 3 or email referrals@actforchildren.org.

If you for a Parent Consultant to contact you to assist with your child care search, please complete the Child Care Referral Request Form.

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