PDX Child Care is a directory of child care options in the Portland area. We include the following types of child care providers on this website:
- Day Care: An environment for children to play and socialize, often while a parent is unable to provide care due to working. See all day cares.
- Preschool: An environment for children to play, socialize, and become familiar with academic concepts, such as pre-literacy, pre-math, and problem solving.
Do you perform background checks on providers?
No, we do not. This website is a resource to help people find child care providers. If you find a provider that looks appealing, please do your due diligence before enrolling your child with them.
What is QRIS?
A QRIS is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. Similar to rating systems for restaurants and hotels, QRIS award quality ratings to early and school-age care and education programs that meet a set of defined program standards. By participating in their State’s QRIS, early and school-age care providers embark on a path of continuous quality improvement. Even providers that have met the standards of the lowest QRIS levels have achieved a level of quality that is beyond the minimum requirements to operate.
Confused by the educational philosophies you see listed on PDX Child Care? Click here for an explanation.
Finding Child Care Checklist
You’ve done the research, you’ve narrowed down the options. You are ready for the next step: touring childcare facilities.
How are you supposed to tell, after a short tour, if this is the place where your child can thrive?
To start, ask the following question: Do I feel comfortable and welcomed in the space?
If the answer is yes, move onto the following questions which may help you organize your thoughts and keep track of your experiences.
If the answer is no, thank the facility and go grab a cup of coffee with your newly found free time. Isn’t there a podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on?
- Can children see themselves in the environment, ie. children’s artwork displayed, images of children on the walls?
- Is the environment neat and tidy?
- Are art materials and toys kept where children can access them without adult assistance?
- Is there natural light in the classroom?
- Do the toys and materials appear to have open-ended uses?
- Are snacks and meals something you’d feed your child at home?
- What would the environment look like through my child’s eyes? (Don’t be afraid to sit on the floor to get the full perspective!)
- How often is the bathroom cleaned?
- How often are the rugs vacuumed?
- Do you notice any prevailing smells, pleasant or otherwise?
- Are there signs telling staff what they may and may not do, signaling distrust?
Teachers and Children
- Are teachers attentive to the children?
- Do children/staff appear joyful?
- What is the school/center’s professional development budget?
- How are teachers expected to gain new skills and hone their craft?
- Do teachers use a respectful, loving tone when speaking with children?
- Do teachers receive paid sick leave? (Facilities that don’t provide sick leave have a have a greater risk of ill teachers working with children.)
- Ask about the staff retention rate. Is it within your expectations?
- Are children playing by themselves or in groups?
- Are academics handled in a developmentally appropriate way?
- Does the school have a guiding philosophy?
- What is the policy if your child is ill?
- What accommodations are made for children with special needs/learning differences?
- Ask about discipline policies. Do they mesh with your parenting style?
- Are children in all stages of toilet changing welcome?
- What is my role as a parent?
- How is parent/teacher communication handled?
- What should I be packing for my child each day?