Alternative Search Options
A family’s need for child care sometimes goes beyond what is available, especially in some areas of the state, for specific age groups or for certain schedules, such as evening or weekend care. Listed below are some options to help with your child care search.
Most of the child care options listed here are not regulated by the state. We strongly urge you to complete reference checks and screen caregivers carefully. When contacting references, inquire about the potential caregivers’ experience in child care, and if possible, their history in other employment experience if not related directly to child care. Contact your county social service office ➜ or the North Dakota Attorney General to request a background check ➜.
Newspaper and Online Ads
Search classified ads in local newspapers or online for care providers who are offering their services. You can also try placing your own “seeking child care provider” ad.
Be aware that both licensed and legally unlicensed caregivers advertise in local newspapers and online. In North Dakota, a person may be legally unlicensed if they care for five or fewer children, including their own. It is important that you clarify if they are licensed or unlicensed and check references.
If you place your own ad, you may find it helpful to use a P.O. Box or separate email address instead of listing your phone number or street address. This helps to eliminate unwanted calls or visits to your home and also allows you to pre-screen possible caregivers before following up with them on the phone or in person.
Friends and Co-Workers
Let people you trust know that you are looking for child care. Talk with friends, co-workers, even your child’s doctor. They may know of someone who is appropriate and available.
Community Colleges, Technical Colleges and Universities
Contact teachers of early childhood education, family studies, human development, child development or similar programs and ask if they can recommend any current or former students. Student employment offices may also provide you with some leads, but again, screen references carefully.
Churches or Places of Worship
Your own church or other churches in the area may know someone in the congregation who does child care. Request that a notice be put in the church’s bulletin, newsletter or posted on their bulletin board.
Senior Citizen Center
A retired person may be interested in taking care of children full or part time. Contact the center director and ask them to post your child care requests. Be very specific and again, screen references carefully.
Other Public Bulletin Boards
Look around your community for any place to hang a flyer. Public libraries, local convenience stores, grocery stores, rec centers, YMCA’s, laundromats, and health clubs are a few suggestions.