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In Home Child Care: Lower Cost, Fewer Extras

In home child care or “Family Child Care Homes” is a classification of daycare facility.

The State of Colorado regulates these facilities through the Office of Early Childhood in the Department of Human Services. This type of license is required when less than 24-hour care is provided at someone’s personal residence for 5 or more children from more than one unrelated family at any one time.

In Home Child Care Details

In home daycare for children the owners are directly related to are exempt from the licensing requirement. This would include children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, etc. Also exempt are homes that provide less than 24-hour care for 4 or fewer children, as long as no more than two of the children are under the age of two at any given time.

All licensed in home child cares are required to abide by strict licensing requirements. These pertain to everything from criminal background checks for adults over 18 in the home to health and safety regulations from teacher/child ratios to sunscreen to play and sleep space minimum square footage. The full 444 page General Rules for Child Care Facilities can be found here.

Costs

In home daycares are generally more cost effective than licensed child care centers. This is due to lower overhead costs for the facility and staffing. These types of daycares generally consist of one main owner and possibly an assistant running a daycare out of their home.

This type of daycare can be a good choice for families that are looking for a smaller, more intimate and affordable option than child care centers. The in home facilities are limited to a smaller population of children, generally a maximum of 12.

Cost wise, in home child care in Colorado Springs generally ranges from about $125 -$180 per week, per child depending on the operation. This rate often covers the hourly rate, plus any food the child consumes for meals and snacks. It usually does not cover diapers, wipes and formula.

Availability

Availability is often the real challenge to finding this type of arrangement.

The regulations for these types of facilities ensure limited infant space (usually no more than 3 children under 2), as well as low limits on total children per adult ratio.

Resources

All licensed facilities in Colorado Springs can be found on the Colorado Department of Human Services website.

You can look up licensing details such as capacity and age restrictions, history of violations or complaints, address, license number, etc. A great place to start is by using the State’s facility finder. This shows licensed facilities by map location and you can limit your search to “Child Care Homes” for the age ranges you are seeking.

It is important to note that no licensed facility can accept children younger than 6 weeks old.  

Using the Colorado Information Marketplace is also a great way to search the State’s child care data base.  You can create “visualizations” and add filters to sort data by whatever means you prefer. Try “home day cares” and your zip code.  This site also has lots of great infographics for statewide data.  

Another helpful way to find vacancies is to join a local Facebook group called Colorado Springs Licensed Daycares. Owners post openings or you can ask about openings for the age you are looking to place. Each facility’s operator sets the hours. But they typically range between 6:30 am and 6:30 pm, but no more than 10 hours per day (i.e. 7:30 to 5:30).

Is In Home Child Care the Best Option for You?

In home child care can be a good choice if you want the most affordable option, only have one or two children needing care and especially if those children are younger than pre-school age. However, these facilities often open later and close earlier than many child care centers. And they frequently don’t accept child care assistance programs like CCCAP, nor do most offer direct payment options.

Do you have experience with any specific in home daycare in Colorado Springs?  Leave us a review in the comments!

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