Family Resources & Education

Childcare

Finding the right child care takes time and accurate information. A good place to start is with LBCC Family Connections, your local child care resource and referral. Knowledgeable consultants will give you the facts about childcare, answer your questions, and give referrals tailored to meet your needs. Call Family Connections at (541) 917-4899.

Community Resources for Families

Family Connections consultants have information about parenting education, children’s activities, summer camps, fun things for families to do, support groups and other family centered resources throughout Linn and Benton Counties. To contact Family Connections, please call (541) 917-4899 or email connect@linnbenton.edu.

The Parenting Success Network is another great resource for families in our area.  Visit the Parenting Success Network website  for information about local parenting activities, a parenting tips blog, community resources, and a calendar of parenting classes and workshops being taught in our area.  (Our website is also available in Spanish)  In addition, the Parenting Success Network offers a Facebook page of timely information, and a selection of family videos on our YouTube channel, www.youtube.com.

Child Care Referrals

Experienced staff at Family Connections offer personalized referrals to meet each family’s needs.  Family Connections does not recommend specific providers because families know what care programs are the best fit for them. Your hunt for child care begins with a conversation with your personal Family Connections child care consultant who is knowledgeable about all aspects of your search and has information about what to look for and questions to ask as you begin your child care search.  Call Family Connections directly at (541) 917-4899.

Download Child Care Request Form (fillable)

Download Choosing Good Child Care Checklist

Allow time to find a quality program. Talk to several providers and visit as many programs as you can. If possible, begin well ahead of time. It may take some time to find a program and provider you are satisfied with. Some providers keep a waiting list (go prepared with some slips of paper) with your name and phone number to leave with a provider you like. Knowing that your child is well cared for will be worth the effort and time you put into finding the right program for your child.

Consider the cost for child care. How much will child care cost?  Keep in mind that the child care program is the provider's business. Providers charge varying rates and have methods of preferred payment.  Low income working families may be eligible for child care subsidies.  Check the Oregon.gov Child Care Assistance page to see if you are eligible for a child care subsidy. Student families may apply for child care grants here.   

Call the child care providers. Begin each phone call by asking if it's a good time to talk. (If not, find out when is a better time to call back.) Discuss the following information including anything else that is important to you:

Call the child care providers. Begin each phone call by asking if it's a good time to talk. (If not, find out when is a better time to call back.) Discuss the following information including anything else that is important to you:

  • Available openings
  • Your scheduling needs
  • Typical day routines
  • Location of program
  • Fees the provider charges
  • Whether pets are present

If you like what you hear on the phone, arrange a time to visit the child care site. Never rely on another person's opinion of a program without checking it out for yourself.

Visit child care providers. Arrange at least one visit when children are present so you can observe the provider’s interactions with them. Some providers encourage bringing your own child along with the understanding that it is only a visit and no decision will be made at this point. Ask to meet any substitutes who will be present in the program during childcare hours.

Look for:

  • Over-all positive feeling
  • Children appear happy and engaged in fun activities
  • Provider is focused on children, is caring and energetic and affectionate with them
  • Positive guidance is used
  • Provider communicates effectively
  • Environment is safe with space for various activities
  • Television is not a major part of the program
  • Provider is prepared for emergencies

Ask for references. When you find a provider that you like, ask for names and phone numbers of parents that you can call as references. Ask the parents about their children's experiences. If they had to choose another time, would they choose that provider again?

Make a decision. Weigh all of the information, trust your feelings, sort out what you feel strongly about and make a final decision. Where would your child be happiest? In which place were you most comfortable? Plan to do drop in visits.

If you don’t find a situation that is a good match for you, call Family Connections again and ask for more help, (541) 917-4899.

Help Paying for Child Care

Oregon Department of Human Services offers a subsidy system to help low income working families pay for their child care.  Employment Related Day Care (ERDC)

Student families needing child care while they attend college may be eligible for a child care grant.
Information on child care grants

Students attending Oregon colleges or universities should check their web sites to see if there is additional assistance offered to student families.

Certain child care programs such as Head Start offer low income families preschool programs at no cost.
See if you qualify for Head Start. 

Other child care programs may offer sliding scales, scholarships or other financial support for families call Family Connections (541) 917-4899 for more information or email us.

Types of Child Care in Oregon

Licensed Care - All licensed providers have training hour requirements based on type of licensing

Registered Family Child care Home

  • Located in residence of provider. Applies to only one provider at that address.
  • Maximum of 10 children allowed in care at any time including provider’s own under 13.
  • Certain age restrictions and ratios apply.
  • Health and safety inspection prior to licensing and every two years at renewal.
  • All residents and regular visitors over 18-years old must enroll on Central Background Registry.

Certified Family Child Care Home

  • Located in building built as single family residence, may not be provider’s residence. Provider may hire assistance which may affect age and number of children and ratios allowed.
  • Maximum of 16 children depending on staff and space.
  • Fire, sanitation, and Child Care Division inspections. License must be renewed yearly. All over 18 with access to children must enroll on Central Background Registry.

Unlicensed Exempt Care

  • Three or fewer child care children at any time unless ALL children from same family.
  • Care by parent or guardian.
  • Occasional care by someone who does not usually do regular child care.
  • Educational preschools for children 3-5 years and less than 4 hours a day.
  • Facilities providing activities such as drama, music, or dancing.
  • Clubs or hobby groups offering short term activities or sporting events.
  • Governmental agencies operating child care.
  • For further information about types of child care, check out Oregon regulations.

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