Bozeman Childcare and Daycare Information and FAQs

Posted by Marisa Owen on Tuesday, January 7th, 2020 at 1:39pm.

For the soon to be moms and dads out there (or already parents), what do you need to know about childcare centers/daycares in Bozeman? 

*** If you are relocating to Bozeman, definitely read through this blog article to ensure your family's transition is as seamless as possible.

FAQ's: 

How do you find out if a daycare is licensed? 
You'll want to visit this website: https://dphhs.mt.gov/qad/licensure/childcarelicensing/providersearch
**This website will give you up to date information and run down of past inspections and reports on the daycares. 

How do you locate childcare centers? 
Google 
Yelp 
Facebook - Try the Group, "Ask Bozeman"
Facebook - Try "Bozeman Parents" (private group)
Childcare Connections
My Village
Word of mouth**

Are there fees to be on a waitlist? 
Yes and no. Sometimes that fee is non-refundable so consider the fee to be a deposit. 

How many waitlists should you sign up for?
Personally I would recommend at least 3 + daycare lists. You may think that is crazy but the risk is too high to end up with no childcare when you're ready to go back to work. Our childcare facilities are limited here in Bozeman with the amount of growth and new families being added to our valley every year. 

How much does full-time childcare cost? 
Of course the rates will vary place to place and rates change based on age of the child. For infant daycare for full-time care, rates range from $700-$1,200+ per month. 

How much is part-time childcare? 
Ranges anywhere from $500 - $900 / month part time (infant care is a bit more expensive) and this range encompasses 2-4 days a week would be considered part-time care.

How quickly should you reach out to childcare centers/daycares?
The most sound advice is to submit the childcare application as soon as you find out you are pregnant or as quickly as you know you will need help. This will hopefully guarantee you will get on at least one childcare waitlist when the baby arrives (or when the infant is of eligible age). 

How long could you be on a waitlist for?
You could be on a waitlist for months to years. For example, if you apply for a daycare(s) 8 weeks pregnant, fast forward and your infant is of eligible age, it is NOT a guarantee your daycare spot is ready for you. 

Can you tour the childcare facilities? 
Some facilities may allow you to do a tour so definitely make sure you fill out an application and understand the deposit required (or not required). 

How early will these childcare centers take an infant? 
It will vary and it is important to ask these questions in advance to each childcare center. The earliest an infant can be accepted to the childcare center will range from 6 weeks at the earliest to 3 months old. (It could be as early as 2 weeks but that is rare.)

Should you get on toddler waitlists even if your child isn't born yet? 
Yes. I have seen some waitlists are years out. 

Home childcare 

Is a nanny more affordable than daycare? 
The short answer is likely not unless you have a family friend willing to cut you a great deal. The hourly rate for a full-time nanny can be anywhere from $12-$25+ per hour. This depends on experience level, job description you are requiring, location, how many kids, infant care, etc.  

10 QUESTIONS TO ASK THE CHILDCARE CENTER / DAYCARE: 

1. What days are the childcare/daycare closed during the year? 
2. What is provided in the tuition fee? 
3. What items are the responsibility of the parent to bring for their child? 
4. Are there late fees if you pick your child up late? 
5. Does your child have to be vaccinated to attend the childcare center? 
6. Do you have a preference if your child is at a Montesorri type learning environment? 
7. What is the experience of the staff? 
8. What is the policy if you decide to change from full-time to part-time at a certain point in the year? 
9. What are the daycare hours? 
10. At what point is your child transitioned to the next class/classroom? 

5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF AND YOUR PARTNER: 

  • Have you considered the timeframe you need care? Full-time, part-time, which days, what times?
  • Does location matter to you? Is the daycare close to your work or home?
  • Have you discussed what you want to budget for monthly childcare costs? 
  • What is your back up childcare plan when daycare is closed? 
  • Have you interviewed nannies to be integrated into your childcare needs? 

DO YOUR RESEARCH:

Below are brief descriptions of the different types of child cares.  All childcare centers are required to be registered/licensed with Montana unless otherwise specified. The below descriptions were provided by Child Care Connections.

  • Family Child Care Homes offer a home-like atmosphere with a ratio of one caregiver to a maximum of six children including the provider’s own under the age of six.
  • Group Child Care Homes are settings where two adults provide care for a maximum of 12 children including the provider’s own under the age of six. Care is often provided in a private home.
  • Child Care Centers is care for 13 or more children with hours that normally coincide with regular working hours.
  • Preschools are part-day programs and are not regulated in Montana.
  • Drop-in Child Cares are not necessarily regulated by Montana because the care provided is usually irregular and for shorter periods of time.

While you may say to yourself, I'm early in my pregnancy so it seems way too early to vet daycares. Hopefully I have convinced you that you are WRONG {sorry not to be too direct}. Some of these daycares and home centers are anywhere from 6 months to 1 year ++ to be on their waitlist. 

If you have any questions, please email me at: Marisa@BuyBozemanHomes.com
Marisa Owen - Realtor
Cell: (925) 785-2596
Website: Marisa.BuyBozemanHomes.com

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