When a new family moves into a community, one of the first things many are looking for is a place for their children.
Unfortunately, finding childcare, especially for the youngest children, is becoming more and more difficult for families.
Finding people who are willing to serve in the role of caring for children, specifically for younger ones, is also becoming more of a challenge.
Efforts to help parents learn what options are available for them and to assist those who are serving in a childcare capacity have been made by various entities. One of those groups has been around for more than 25 years. Previously known as the Child Care Resource and Referral program, it is known today as Child Care Aware.
According to Karen DeBoer, Region 8 coordinator for Child Care Aware, which serves the nine southwesternmost counties of Minnesota (including Redwood County), the purpose of the program is to provide support services for all involved with childcare.
That, she explained, includes helping those interested in becoming childcare providers to see how much is involved in that development process.
“It’s not as easy as having a child and doing childcare for others just to stay home,” said DeBoer, adding this is a business that requires budgeting, and one has to actually have the skills to take care of children and interact with entire families.
DeBoer said she works hand in hand with those who provide childcare licensing in each county to help those providers get additional training.
A program known as Parent Aware offered through Child Care Aware provides a listing of childcare providers in a community.
Within that is another program that provides ratings for providers that have received added training above and beyond the basic licensing requirements.
To that end, DeBoer is planning to hold a new training in Redwood Falls this February that offers additional tips and skills for working with infants and toddlers.
With infant care continuing to be a big need, DeBoer said having this kind of training will provide those doing childcare more skills to be confident when they care for those children.
To find out more about this program, contact DeBoer by visiting the Child Care Aware Web site at www.childcareawarewc.org.

Photo courtesy of public domain