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Home > Child care > Intro

Child care

It's normal for new parents to feel a tug on the heartstrings when they leave their baby with someone else for the first time. Whether returning to work or trying to find some time together, many new parents face this challenge. We recommend that you begin thinking about your future child care needs early in your baby's life or even while you're still pregnant. Finding a good setting for your child takes time and consideration. Perhaps the most important thing to look for is a safe environment. Some common arrangements include: daycare centers, in-home care, nannies and relatives. It's important to note that some, but not all, providers are reviewed by the State of Oregon.

Child care providers must enroll in the child care division criminal history registry if they:

  • Work in a child care program regulated by the state of Oregon.
  • Work in an Oregon pre-K program.
  • Work in a federal Head Start program.
  • Work at a child care center and have unsupervised contact with a child.
  • Provide early childhood special education or early intervention services.

Child care that does not require regulation in Oregon includes:

  • Places where three or fewer children are cared for in addition to the provider's own children.
  • Care provided for any number of children from only one family.
  • Care provided in the child's home.
  • Care given by a relative or legal guardian.
  • Facilities that care for children ages 3-5 years and for less than four hours per day.
  • Facilities that train children in a specific subject, such as dance, music or drama.
  • Organized clubs.
  • Facilities operated by a governmental agency.

Important things to note:

  • The absence of state review doesn't mean that a child care provider isn't good or safe. It just means that it's up to you to do a more thorough investigation on your own.
  • A state review does not ensure that your child will thrive or be safe in any setting.