Childcare is frequently advertised on community forums like craigslist or in the yellow pages, but before trusting your child to anyone's care make sure they have the proper accreditation and licensing. Verify that the center is approved by the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children - Phone : 1-800-424-2460 or http://www.naeyc.org). Childcare for newborns may be more difficult to find as there are more restrictive child care rules. Law dictates that one adult must be responsible for no more then three babies. For an on-line list of possibilities check Yahoo childcare listings.
There is also Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (R&Rs) which are one of the best ways to find referrals for licensed child care and development programs. They also provide resources and referrals to low-income families eligible for child care subsidies. Many also offer written materials on several topics, including selecting a child care and development program that is right for you, as well as brochures on child development topics. Chicago also has Chicago Child Care Society which offers pre-school, development programs, and literature.
Some women run day cares from their home as they are stay-at-home moms themselves. By law, they must have a license and posses some basic CPR training. Depending on the facilities, they may have restrictions on how many children they may care for. These facilities tend to be cheaper and more flexible than bigger day cares. They usually cost $8 to $15 an hour or $40 to $60 a day. Per month costs are usually between $800 and $1400 a month.
Pre-School programs are often held at public elementary schools. They provide childcare while beginning to educate. Different programs may operate in half day periods or full day care. Public schools and government try to keep the costs of these programs down, but pre-school for 1-2 year olds is usually $800 to $1200 a month with older children costing between $700 to $1000 a month.
Babysitting is usually done by a neighbor or acquaintance for lower pay than a professional facility. Young women, often in high school or college, offer their services on craigslist or community boards. Prices and skill levels vary greatly along with prices, but it is best to hire someone with some CPR skills and references. Prices may range from $6-12 an hour per child.