Family Care Facilities are becoming an increasingly valuable child-care option. These are in-home preschools or daycares run in someone’s home.

There are often fewer children in these compared to traditional facilities, and caregivers are able to personalize learning goals for each child. 

There are many advantages to this type of care, such as forming a small, family-focused, close-knit group of children that can learn and grow together. 

That being said, it’s important to find the right place for your child. Caregivers and their in-home facilities should be visited and properly vetted to find the perfect fit for your family.

Here are 4 things to look for in a home care facility to ensure your child is getting the best possible care. 

1. Licensing

Licensing can be very complicated to receive, but it’s important to only choose caregivers that are legally licensed. Look for a facility that is held accountable by national, state, and local standards.

2. Appropriate Space for Children

Although you want to find a place that is warm and home-like, there should also be adequate space set aside for the children in care. The area should be relatively separate from family things and must be clean. 

You should see the appropriate equipment needed for feeding, diapering, and offering children an individual place to rest.

If you don’t see something that you think should be there (like a changing table, for example), ask.

Any toys or materials for children should be safe and age-appropriate.

Be sure to ask about cleaning routines, and look carefully around the space to verify that it is clean and that only age-appropriate things are within reach.  

3. Safety

First, ensure they are qualified to run the school, do they have experience as a childcare provider?   Ask about pickup and dropoff routines for children.

No one should be allowed to take your child from the care facility without your consent, even an extended family member.

Next, ask how the caregiver responds to children in various situations that could be frustrating or overwhelming. How do they respond when one child bites another?

What would they do in a situation where a child cries for several hours or even a full day? 

More importantly, ask for references from other parents who have had children stay with your caregiver. Be sure to follow through and speak with them to be sure the caregiver sounds like the right fit for you.

In addition, look around the area where children are kept. All of the safety features you would expect in a home should be used, and even a few more.

4. Ratio

One of the perks of a family care center is that there should be fewer children present. Small, in-home schools will usually have fewer than 6 children., depending on how many infants are being cared for.

Even in a larger in-home school, there should be no more than 14 children with two caregivers present.

If you are still not sure you’ve found the perfect place for your family, try Ivy School. We regulate family care homes by helping caregivers get licensed, prepare their space for children, and receive formal training.

We feel your child’s caregiver should be informed about the best practices in keeping children safe, as well as how to build a learning environment with an excellent curriculum. 

We provide each caregiver with ongoing mentorship to ensure their in-home school is of the highest quality from the beginning, and that they remain true to that standard.  

Let us help you find your child’s home away from home at