11 News Special Report: The Daycare Dilemma

By: Debra Tomlinson
By: Debra Tomlinson

According to Mesa County's website an estimated 86 percent of households have children under the age of 12. With a majority of those being two income households most every working parent has at one time or another faced the daycare dilemma and that is, trying to find immediate, quality child care.
There are more than 250 licensed childcare facilities in Mesa County, which sounds liek a lot, but last year alone there were more than 18–hundred babies born to Mesa County residents. That's why Mesa County formed the Early Childhood Partnership, and developed a guide to help parents in their quest to find quality care providers. Experts advise parents to hire only licensed providers, however a state license does not ensure a quality level of care. A program called Qualistar rates participating facilities on a star basis. At least one facility owner says the Qualistar program may be too rigorous, and those facilities choosing not to participate still have to meet a standard of care, not to mention parents' expectations. Experts say Mesa County historically has had some low levels of childcare, but acknowledge that when parents start to demand what quality should be, then childcare providers will be forced to raise their standards.
The Qualistar program has been offered in Mesa County for about the last five years. Of the more than 250 child care providers only 15 have received star ratings. To find out which facilities are rated log onto www.qualistar.org. Parents can also call the Mesa County info line at 211 or 244–8400 for more information on the program.


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