Most childcare in the U.S. is not supported by the government and is privately owned. Families are responsible for finding suitable childcare. There are a variety of different types of childcare available in Lawrence ranging from full-time daycare centers that typically operate during regular work hours 7:30am to 5:30pm to in-home private daycare. All childcare facilities including in-home daycare providers are required to be licensed by the state of Kansas. As a parent you can review the annual evaluation and any official complaints that have been made for any daycare facility at the State of Kansas Child Care Licensing website.
Childcare centers can be expensive ranging from $450-$1,100 per month depending on the age of the child and the type of facility. There can be wait lists so it is best to enroll as early as possible. Many childcare facilities offer separate part-time preschool programs or integrate preschool into their regular full-time care. Below are a few facilities that are located on campus:
- Hilltop Child Development Center - located on the KU campus, has an income-based payment plan. Priority is given to the children of KU students, faculty and staff.
- Edna A. Hill Child Development Center
- Language acquisition preschool
Important: there may not be openings in your desired childcare facility right away. Plan ahead and sign up early (this may mean before you arrive) so that you are on the wait list.
If you are looking for information about childcare licensing, or what type of questions to ask your potential childcare facility, this association does a great job of putting resources together.
Steps to Take by the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department
- Call ERC Resource and Referral 1-800-279-2372 for child care openings.
- Tour the facility you are considering to ensure it’s safe.
- Request an Open Records request of any facility you are interested in. For more information, visit Public Health Protection, then click on “Child Care Licensing –FAQs.”
- Ask if the facility is licensed or registered. (Registered homes are not inspected by the Health Department, licensed homes are inspected once a year). Certificate should be conspicuously posted.
- Check out State of Kansas regulations.
- Be sure to fill out all paperwork before enrolling your child.
- Call the Health Department at 785-843-3060 to report any facility that is not licensed or registered and is providing care to non-relatives.