CHILD CARE SERVICES IN TEXAS

Here we discuss what CCMS is, how to qualify, how to find child care providers near you, and provide guidelines on selecting quality child care.

CHILD CARE MANAGEMENT SERVICES – CCMS

In some areas of Texas there is a CCMS program in place which can:

  • Offer families an expanded choice of accessible child care arrangements
  • Offer families an identifiable source of child care information and financial assistance
  • Support the physical, social, emotional, and intellectual development of children
  • Assist providers in increasing and maintaining quality childcare
  • Support and strengthen the child care industry
  • Provide a community resource for child care needs

HOW TO FIND CCMS CHILD CARE PROVIDERS NEAR YOU

To find out which child care providers in your area accept children whose parent’s are subsidized through the CCMS program, run a search on this page, and make sure you check the box labelled “Accepts Child-Care Subsidies” (see image below).

Find CCMS Providers Near You

DO YOU QUALIFY FOR CCMS ASSISTANCE?

The qualification requirements for CCMS vary throughout the state.  To determine the requirements for your area, contact the Workforce Centre closest to you by entering your zip code on this page, and selecting “Child Care Assistance”.  (see image below)

Do You Qualify For CCMS?

For more information on CCMS and helpful resources, please scroll to the bottom of this article.

GENERAL CHILDCARE INFORMATION

“A child needs the highest quality care and attention, for they are vulnerable and highly affected by their caregivers.”

Child care deserves to be a top priority for responsible parents. It is a frightening experience to for a parent to discover that they had entrusted so much of the care for their children to a wrong person. The future of a child depends largely on the experience and the people who mold his/her first five years of development.

Working parents must see to it that the child care providers have the perspective of a mother in terms of protection and development of the child.

Here are some ways to evaluate your potential or current child care provider:

1. Evaluate The Physical Environment

The surroundings where your child will be spending his/her day should be healthy, vibrant, safe and full of pleasant colorful shapes enabling your child to learn. Colors can affect the mood of your child, colors red, orange and yellow stimulates and increases brain activity. The colors green, blue and violet induce relaxation. Children especially those with attention disorders can fully benefit from any brain stimulating colors. Make sure these are present in the provider’s area for your child.

The place should first and foremost be safe for curious and receptive children and it must conform to the ages of the child being cared for. Shelves should be arranged so that climbing is not possible. Lower areas must not contain small objects that are within reach of two year olds (such as crayons, clay or small things). Other devices such as plugs, medicines, sprays, and bottles should be far from the reach of any child. Toys should be arranged in an orderly manner where it is easy for children to play with.

The child care location should also have a regular schedule for disinfection and cleaning, including of course the whole place, ensuring that the children are kept away from insects that might bring in viruses and infections.

2. Observe the Child Care Provider

If there is a need to evaluate the place, most likely parents need to measure up the provider, who deals directly with the child. Child rearing is not an easy task, and requires a competent provider. A provider must know how to deal with the child 0-5 years old. There are provisions of the state which address the ratio between providers and children. In Texas, the following are recommended:

  1. The maximum ratio of providers to babies is from 1:2; infants 1:3; toddlers 1:5; pre-school age 1:10
  2. Any provider must obtain a certificate from the state for any government regulation, there are recognized centers which aids eligible providers for employment at the same time gives parents assurance of their child’s welfare.
  3. The US Department of Justice has created the American Disabilities Act that outlines guidelines for caring for children with disabilities.

Providers, on a stricter definition, need to be quality role models. They will serve as the second parents and that from them values and morals are absorbed by the children they had met for over eight hours a day, which in turn shapes up the major holistic development of a child. Nonetheless, a provider must be careful of his/her verbal language and even gestures which obviously being studied and even mimicked by children. Even any stories and experiences they impart to the child can have a significant impact.

Providers could be crossed examined at the end of the day by parents. How can this be done? Through your child’s answers to questions such as: How was your day? Are you happy? Do you want to play and learn again the next day? If all of these questions receive an affirmative answer then the provider must have made a good connection or bond to your child.

Before enrolling your child to a center, if possible agencies must be background checked for their specifications and requirements on their list of their employees serving as eligible providers.

3. Observe Your Child’s Behavior Before & After

There is no other familiar person who can best evaluate a child but his/her parents, especially their mothers. Likely, parents can determine if their child is ready for child care outside the home or not. It is important to prevent any mild trauma the could be created if a child’s ability to tolerate stress, adjustment and total change has been violated. Therefore, parents must carefully observe their children to determine whether they are ready for day care providers or any institutions for child tending. If children are ready, then observation of their behavior AFTER child care should begin. Any changes like unpleasant manners, gross verbal languages or any deterioration on good manners and right conduct could be taken into consideration. Physically parents must examine their children for any bruises, unusual scratches or bandages at the end of the day to find out if they are in a safe and sound environment. Interview your children if he/she has learned more everyday and if there are new things he/she might have observed and experienced.

THE BEST CHILD CARE

The best child care is however that provided by a full-time mother who gives a 100% unfailing attention to her offspring. Modernity brings us to a reality that parents, including mothers need to be away from home, thus leaving the children to other than parent’s care. So who can be the best child care provider aside from parents? Luckily there are often a few options:

  • Parents-in-law or biological grandparents of the children
  • The biological father, an aunt or an elder sister who can be trusted in any respect
  • Selected and proven child care providers recognized by the state (often CCMS)

In respect to men, without any issues on gender sensitivity, basically mothers have the highest tendency to make the greatest sacrifices for the welfare of their children. This is due in part to the fact that the unborn child has been with her for over nine months and that the child continuously felt the unconditional love, unfading patience and care. Men by nature, except for a few, do not have the faculties to tend and nurture a child how a mother does hence, we normally observed women to be great child care providers for infants and growing toddlers. Grandparents have been shown to have a high desire to take care of their children’s children and usually bring the best effort they can, for they have done it before, often have a strong desire to ensure that their grandchildren healthy, happy and learning.

How To Get Financial Assistance For Child Care?

We understand that quality child care is expensive. Next to housing, child care is the largest expense in most families’ budgets. The main source for long term assistance with child care cost is Child Care Management Services. The state government can often help finance any parents who might approach them for assistance. The Texas government has put forth significant effort and funding to ensure the welfare of children, including Child Care Management Services (CCMS). There are numerous sites dedicated to research on child care and policies, where the state strongly fights the rights of a child and that any orphans or those without any guardians are taken under custody and protection of the state through its Department of Social Works in its government assisted child care centers.