Never send your child to an unlicensed child care facility.
You have a hard time leaving your little ones with your mother-in-law because you have in mind that she’s going to feed them sugar and let them stay up late. Sometimes, leaving the children with family members is a difficult task; now, you are going to leave your little ones in child care? Well, take a deep breath and know that you can find a place that is safe, comfortable and healthy for your child's development. In the St. Louis area, it is quite simple to find a child care facility that has been licensed by the state of Missouri.
1At the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services website, search for a licensed child care facility in St. Louis. Locate the portion of the page that reads, “Find a program for…” and click on the “Child Care” link in the families section.To become a licensed child care facility in Missouri, facilities must pass certain safety inspections. The process begins with an application that is provided to child care facilities by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Once the application is returned to the Department’s Section for Child Care Regulation, three different inspections are performed by the state. The state inspects the facility to ensure that it complies with all state safety rules for child care facilities, a fire inspection is performed by the Division of Fire Safety and the Bureau of Environmental Health Services conducts a sanitation inspection. Once all inspections are passed and a background check on all employees and caregivers is performed, the facility is licensed for two years. At the end of the two-year period, the license must be renewed.
2Click, “Show Me Child Care Provider Search” when the next page appears. On this page, you can enter either the name of a specific child care facility in St. Louis to see if it has all the required state licenses or you can search for a list of child care facilities in St. Louis that have all the required state licenses.
3Enter the name of the child care facility you want to search for or your home or office address in St. Louis to bring up a list of child care facilities near your home or place of employment. Be sure to check the box marked, “Child Care Center,” before clicking the search button so that you only bring up a list of child care facilities rather than home care facilities and group homes.
4Browse the list of facilities that appears and make a list of the ones that appeal to you, such as ones close to your office or home or ones that have a specific type of child care, such as home licensed daycare centers or faith based child care facilities. From there, you simply need to call the schools you find appealing, make appointments to visit each one so that you can speak to the director, teachers, and parents you may see while visiting the facility and make your final decision.
- You can also call the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to ask for a list of state licensed child care providers in St. Louis.Take your toddler with you when you visit potential licensed child care facilities. See how she gets along with the other children at the facility and how the teachers and staff interact with her.
- Never leave your child at a child care facility if you feel uncomfortable and visiting the facility, even if the facility has its state licenses. You should never leave your toddler anywhere that doesn't make you feel 100 percent comfortable.