Utah Launches New Hub for Parents and Providers Making Childcare Decisions
Utah’s Department of Workforce Services (DWS) has unveiled a new tool to tackle the challenges of finding high-quality childcare: The Care About Childcare website, a resource that allows parents and guardians to make informed decisions by identifying providers that fit their needs.
Users can select among many variables, including proximity to work and home, hours of availability, or program offerings.
DWS Office of Childcare Director Rebecca Banner said the new search tool on their website assists both parents and caregivers.
“It is something that we had before, but it was more limited and so we've worked with this iteration of the launch of this updated website,” she said. “It has more robust features in there and features that would help them make a better fit. There's also part of the website that is directed towards providers, where providers can go in and log in and get information, take classes that they can track, different professional development opportunities that they receive.”
Childcare costs vary, and this new tool lets parents search based on tuition criteria. It also allows parents or guardians to identify which providers take subsidies, which not all providers accept. The Department of Workforce Services takes applications for childcare subsidy assistance.
Banner said making quality childcare available throughout the state is a top priority. The new website allows parents to search childcare providers who have attained different childcare quality system ratings. The CCQS evaluation includes health and safety, learning environments, leadership and professional development, and the national accreditation of management and administration.
“Not every program in the state has had an opportunity to receive a certified rating. All programs are regulated by the state of Utah and meet the health and safety requirements for children. As COVID restrictions start to recede, then we will have the ability to do program observations to allow more providers to apply for this CCQS rating.”
Providers can use the platform to update details about their program, such as spoken languages, vacancies by age groups, and learning programs.