Two guides point parents to childcare


Booklets offer information, listings

Photo courtesy of Day Care Action Council Two new directories will help area families with day care questions.

Childcare is an "absolutely critical family issue and lots of people struggle in isolation," says Maria Whelan, executive director of the Day Care Action Council of Illinois. That’s why her organization spent six months putting together the first comprehensive guide to childcare in Cook County.

The free 80-page "Child Care Directory," written in both English and Spanish, is filled with advice on finding a good caregiver as well as a list of providers and resources. Articles offer advice on questions to ask and updates on state laws and proposals involving children’s issues, as well as information on asthma, childcare and serving special-needs children. There are even hints on comforting a child.

On a local level, the fifth edition of the "Early Childhood Resource Directory" for parents in west suburban Oak Park, River Forest and Forest Park is available at It includes a list of providers and information about ensuring children are ready to enter kindergarten.

The county guide, which is supported by paid advertising, is aimed at parents and caregivers-whether they are family friends who serve as sitters or trained Head Start teachers-so they can best serve the child’s needs.

The Day Care Action Council has printed 30,000 copies of the premier issue and plans to update the guide every six months. For a free copy, call (773) 687-4000 or e-mail

Cindy Richards

Kids Eat Chicago

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