Help available for childcare providers in Kossuth County

“Parents need to understand the importance of childcare,” said Paige Hollinger of Early Childhood North Central Iowa (ECNCI). “Those early years of childcare are so important to the development of children. There are approximately 2,000 days between when a child is born and they begin their first day of Kindergarten, and those days have a profound impact on children’s learning and developing.”

Shelly Skjeie of Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral said there is a need to see more registered childcare businesses in Kossuth County.

“Non-registered child care providers can only take care of five children or less,” Skjeie said. “If child care providers are looking to take care of five or more children, they need to be registered with the Department of Human Services.”

Skjeie and Kristi Radtke of Iowa Child Care Resource and Referral work with registered and non-registered child care providers across a four county area.


“We work with preschools, centers, and registered and non-registered home day cares,” Skjeie said.

Thanks to funding from ECNCI, daycares in the area can be eligible for quality improvement grants and training grants to meet the requirements for becoming registered childcare providers.

“Part of becoming a registered childcare provider means passing background checks, learning CPR and first aid basics, and mandatory child abuse training,” Skjeie said. “There are also environmental requirements needed to be filled out in the application from the Department of Human Services.”

“We are willing to meet with childcare providers to help them fill out their registration packets,” Radtke said. “Some of those environmental requirements are things like having contracts with parents on childcare and policies for things like how the daycare will handle mildly ill children. It can be very intimidating to look at a packet and DHS application. We work with providers to help break down that process so it isn’t as intimidating.”

Skjeie said not every part of the contracts or policies need to be completed when the registration process is completed.

“You have of three months to complete the whole packet for the registration process,” Skjeie said.



If anyone in the household fails a background check, then the business will not be registered.

Another item that Skjeie and Radtke work towards is seeing more home providers, preschools, and day care centers listed on the Iowa Quality Rating System.

Currently, in Kossuth County, only five preschool centers are on the Quality Rating System – Loving Hands Nursery, KidStop Childcare in Bancroft, Seton preschool, Algona CSD Bullpups preschool. Two childcare providers Colleen Denker and Jill Zirbel are also on the Quality Rating System.

The Iowa QRS program was started to raise the quality of child care in Iowa.

Hollinger said that quality child care was something that was noted as important to businesses and employees in Kossuth County.

Skjeie and Radtke encourage people to contact them via phone to make an appointment if they are interested in making steps to have their child care center a registered child care center.

Skjeie can be reached at 641-903-9972 or via e-mail at sskjeie@midsioux.org. Radtke’s phone is 712-541-3498.

“If people are interested in registering their daycare, they need to call or go online at Iowa Department of Human Services for a packet,” Skjeie said. “We can help them step by step through the process so it isn’t as scary to complete.”

Skjeie said that while they are encouraging more daycares are registered, they are also available as resources to offer answers or advice to questions or problems they might be encountering.

“We are here to help any child care provider to get help and support they need to provide child care to children,” Skjeie said.

Over the years, CCR&R and ECNCI have also worked at providing grants to assist daycares as well. In 2012, when new federal requirements called for the recall or destruction of non-compliant cribs, ECNCI worked to collect Community Foundation Grants and a casino grant to help provide new cribs that met the requirements to the area daycares in the area.

“The cribs had to be destroyed if they weren’t compliant, and we took care of that destruction while providing them with cribs they could use in their daycares,” Hollinger said.

Skjeie said they also utilize grants to provide child safe educational items, smoke alarms and fire extinguishers to meet environmental requirements for day cares.

“We also work with a nurse consultant to provide an injury prevention check list, as well as providing tips and assistance on how to deal with simple health scares like lice outbreaks,” Skjeie said.

Radtke works for Kossuth, Emmet and Palo Alto Counties, while Skjeie works for Winnebago and Kossuth. Hollinger represents ECNCI for all four counties.

“If anyone is interested in starting a childcare, we want you to know we are here for assistance, and can help guide you on what steps are needed to become a registered childcare provider,” Skjeie said.

 

Source Article from http://www.algona.com/articles/2014/11/26/news/algona_news/doc546e0cc989e29344520582.txt
Help available for childcare providers in Kossuth County
http://www.algona.com/articles/2014/11/26/news/algona_news/doc546e0cc989e29344520582.txt
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