HorizonWhen it comes to matters of health, welfare, education and safety, every parent wants the best for their child. Choosing a childcare facility for their child is an agonizing decision for many parents in Lorain County and western Cuyahoga County. Between national daycare chains, local childcare facilities and private home daycare programs, the number of choices can seem overwhelming.

Most parents begin the decision-making process by narrowing their choices to facilities that are convenient to their home or work place. Price is another important factor. Look for a facility that offers registration, multiple child and/or advanced payment discounts. Horizon Education Centers go a step further by also offering income-based scholarships and a unique employer partnership discount of 30%.

When researching childcare facilities, parents are apt to find wide variety between programs. The greatest differences tend to be found between licensed childcare facilities like Horizon Education Centers and home-based private daycare providers. State-licensed facilities are required to meet state regulations regarding such things as child-teacher ratios, teacher education and credentials, meal/snack menus and food handling procedures, facility maintenance and safety measures and staff health and safety training. Licensed facilities also undergo regular inspections by state agencies to ensure that they remain in compliance.

While some of these requirements must also be met by state-licensed home daycare providers; many people who provide daycare services in their homes are not licensed and fly under the radar of regulating and child-protection agencies. For example, for the safety of the children staff members at licensed childcare facilities undergo background checks and visitors are screened by staff before being allowed to enter the building. This level of security is simply not possible when day care is provided in private homes where children are likely to come into contact with the provider’s unvetted family members and their friends.