Day Care Options in and Around Eugene, Oregon

Searching for the right child care can be an overwhelming challenge – not only are you striving to provide the best care possible for your child, but you also have to wrestle with the realities of what’s available in the community and what you can afford. Searching for day care in Eugene, Oregon is no exception. There are some ways to make your search a little easier, however, as you explore what the community has to offerâÂ?¦

Eugene is home to many different avenues of child care including private day care centers, family home care, church and Christian-based child care, preschools, in-home nanny services and in home care providers, and child care associated with schools and businesses. Depending on the age of your child or children, there are also after-school programs – either at the school your child attends or at a community center such as the Boys and Girls Club of Emerald Valley (345-9939). With so many choices, it’s important to try to get as clear as possible in regards to what you’re looking for.

Make a list of your concerns and considerations – the age of your child, or if you have more than one, whether you need transportation to or from school or other activities, how much day care do you need (some providers will be flexible, while others want to fill their slots with full time participants), whether or not you would like some academics, homework help, enriching activities, etc. Now, you’ll also need to take into consideration your budget and your schedule. When you get an accurate picture of what your family needs are, you’ll be better equipped to evaluate the resources available in Eugene.

When my own now teenage children were younger, my considerations (in addition to budget) included a place where they could all attend together since I worked full-time, I wanted a place centrally located to their school and our home, and I wanted them to have activities over academics – two of my children were very physical, active and athletic and they needed to be moving around during the day. I finally settled on the Eugene Family YMCA (www.eugeneymca.org, 686-9622) and it worked well for us (they even had transportation from the local elementary schools). Prior to school age, however, I relied on an in-home family care provider who was willing to care for children who were not potty-trained. My nearly-grown teenagers have fonder memories of the YMCA than they do of the family care simply because they made more friends and did “more fun stuff.”

If you are a student, both the University of Oregon and Lane Community College offer child care services to students. Local public high schools also offer child development/preschool programs on site at the schools (high school students serve as staff and often your child can attend part-time if that is what you need.) You can find out more on the school district web site at www.4j.lane.edu/ or call the individual high schools for program information.

In Eugene, a great referral source is The Lane Family Connection. It can be accessed via the Lane Community College website and it is an incredible resource for families searching for appropriate childcare. The web address is www.lane.cc.edu/lfc/parents.htm. This database has information on all facets of childcare in the area (family, centers, preschools, etc.) and can be searched based on the specifics of your situation.

Another great resource is the Department of Health and Human Services in Eugene – both the county office at www.co.lane.or.us/hhs (682-4035) and the local office of Oregon Department of Human Services at 2885 Chad Drive. You can call information at 687-7373 and a worker should be able to provide you with referral and other community child care information.

In addition to all these ideas and referral services, don’t forget to ask around – ask other parents, teachers, members of your church, neighbors, co-workers and even your family doctor or pediatrician for suggestions. Eugene is a small enough town that word-of-mouth and referrals can be a helpful resource for any parent seeking child care.

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