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Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes
 
How can I check out a child care provider?
The local licensing office (Department of Children and Families) keeps records on all licensed facilities, including inspection reports and complaints made against a facility or child care provider.

All licensed child care facilities must visibly display their license for public viewing.

Contact the Department of Children and Families at (305) 377-5006 for further information or local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies: Family Central at (305) 908-7300 or Miami-Dade Child Development Services at (305) 373-3521.

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How can I get help in paying for child care?
Subsidies to assist with child care are based on family income.

For information on eligibility requirements, call these referral agencies:
Family Central at (305) 908-7300 or Miami-Dade Child Development Services at (305) 373-3521.

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I live in one county and work in a neighboring county. Am I eligible for subsidized child care if I want child care near my work place.
If you meet the eligibility requirements for subsidized child care, you can use the Voucher Certificate Program to receive care near your work place.

The Subsidized Voucher Certificate Program in Miami-Dade is administered by two Community Child Care Coordinating (4C) agencies:
Family Central at (305) 908-7300 and Miami-Dade Child Development Services at (305) 373-3521.

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I need child care on the weekend. How can I find out if it is available?
A number of child care centers and many family child care home providers offer weekend and/or evening care often known as "odd-hour" care.

The local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies can help locate special care facilities:

Family Central at (305) 908-7300 (if you live north of NW 151st St. or either in Hialeah or Opa-Locka) or Miami-Dade Child Development Services at (305)373-3521 (if you live south of NW 151st St..).

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I'm having a problem with my child care center or pre-kindergarten program. What can I do about it?
Always try to talk first with your child care provider or teacher.

For concerns about possible licensing violations, call the Department of Children and Families Licensing Unit at (305) 377-5006 or the local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies: either Family Central at (305) 908-7300 (if you live in Hialeah or Opa-Locka or north of NW 151st St.) or Miami-Dade Child Development Services at (305) 373-3521 (if you live south of NW 151st St.).

Your local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies also can help if you want to change child care providers.

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I'm interested in opening a child care facility. What do I need to do?
Call the Department of Children and Families Licensing Unit at (305) 377-5006.

For more information, call your local zoning department. (If you live in a city, then call the zoning department in your city; if you live in an unincorporated area, call the county zoning department.)

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What difference does good child care make?
Early learning and development clearly sets the stage for future success. According to researchers, a child's ability to learn can increase or decrease by 25 percent or more, depending on whether or not the child grows up in a stimulating environment.

These are among the programs in our community for young children:

  • Licensed child care facilities and Head Start for children from infancy to 4 years old.
  • Miami-Dade County Public Schools for 3 and 4 year olds.

For child care facilities you can call:

  • If you live north of NW 151st St. or in Hialeah or Opa-Locka, call Family Central at (305) 908-7300.
  • If you live south of NW 151st St., call Miami-Dade DHS - Child Development Services at (305) 373-3521.
  • For Head Start centers, Miami-Dade Community Action Agency Head Start at (305)347-4622.
  • For Miami-Dade County Public Schools, call either the MAP Room at (305) 883-5361 or the Division of Early Childhood Programs at (305) 995-7632.

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What does accreditation mean and is there an accredited center near me?
Accreditation is a seal of approval obtained from any of 11 associations or programs in the State of Florida. It tells you a child care facility has met certain standards and is considered high quality.

Local Child Care Resource and Referral agencies can tell you which child care centers and family child care homes are accredited (called Gold Seal in Florida ).

You can call:

  • Miami-Dade Child Development Services at (305) 633-6485, or
  • Family Central: North Broward at (954) 720-1000, South Broward at (954)-922-9713, or North Dade at (305)-908-7300
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What is the difference between center-based care and family child care?

Center-based child care is provided in a group setting at a licensed facility. The number of children in the facility varies by the size of the facility.

Family child care is in an individual's home. In Miami-Dade County the home must be licensed for no more than 10 children in care.

A large family child care home can take up to 12 children with 2 adults in attendance.

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What kind of child care setting is best for my child?
Young children, including babies, are best cared for in a setting in which they are safe, yet able to be active.

Young children should be in a care setting where the caregiver frequently talks to and with them, quite naturally as in having a conversation.

Children need many different experiences to help their bodies, emotions, minds and spirits grow.

Teachers/Caregivers

  • Do the teachers/caregivers seem to really like children?
  • Are children greeted when they arrive?
  • Are teachers/caregivers trained in CPR, first aid and early childhood education?
  • Are teachers/caregivers involved in continuing education programs?
  • Are children's needs quickly met even when things get busy?
  • Does the program keep up with children's changing interest?
  • Will the teachers/caregivers always be ready to answer your questions?
  • Will the teachers/caregivers tell you what your child is doing everyday?
  • Are parents' ideas welcomed? Are there ways for you to get involved?
  • Is there enough staff to serve the children?
  • Do the teachers/caregivers and children enjoy being together?

Setting

  • Is the atmosphere bright and pleasant?
  • Is there a fenced-in outdoor play area with a variety of safe equipment?
  • Can the teachers/caregivers see the entire playground at all times?
  • Are there different areas for resting, quiet play and active play?
  • Is there enough space for children in all of these areas?

Activities

  • Is there a daily balance of playtime, story time, activity and naptime?
  • Are the activities right for each age group?
  • Are there enough toys and learning materials for the number of children?
  • Are toys clean, safe and within reach of the children?

In General

  • Do you agree with the discipline practices?
  • Do you hear sounds of happy children?
  • Are surprise visits by parents encouraged?
  • Is the program licensed or regulated?
  • Will your child be happy there?

To find a center that serves the age of your child, call the local Child Care Resource and Referral agency, Miami-Dade Child Development Services: At (305) 908-7300 (if you live north of NW 151st St. or in Hialeah and Opa-Locka) or (305) 373-3521 (if you live south of NW 151st St.).

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Brought to you by The Early Childhood Initiative Foundation and United Way Center for Excellence in Early Education


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