Indiana social services agency launches new child care locator portal for residents

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The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration launched a new website aiming to inform parents of child care and educational options in their area Tuesday.

The agency believes the new site, ChildCareFinder.IN.gov, will help families find services close to their homes. FSSA Secretary John Wernert said in a statement that he hopes this new service will make it easier for parents to go back to work without the hassle of finding a caretaker for their children. 

“We know that finding convenient, safe and reliable child care is critical in helping parents get to work and perform their jobs effectively,” Wernert said in a release. “We also know that finding resources to identify child cares based on all those factors has not always been easy for parents and guardians in Indiana. That’s why we’ve worked hard to make Child Care Finder as useful to families as possible.”

Child Care Finder can be used on either a mobile device or desktop computer and promises to allow for searches of licensed providers and registered ministries in the area with geo-location services. 

Users will also be able to see a provider’s hours, licensing status and whether or not they participate in Paths to Quality —the state’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system. All verified complaints and enforcement actions will also be available to view. 

“Often families will rely solely on their friends’ recommendations or other factors such as location when picking a caregiver for their children without being fully informed, because they haven’t had or haven’t been aware of tools and resources to help provide an in-depth search,” said Nicole Norvell, Director of FSSA’s Office of Early Childhood and Out-of-School Learning. “We are hopeful that Child Care Finder provides some confidence to Hoosier families by giving easier access to important information that will help them make a much more informed decision.”

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