- See also: Posting to the Childcare Listing
- Types of childcare that BPN accepts posts about
- Posts that are not accepted
- Outdoor Programs for Preschoolers (Forest Schools)
The State of California regulates childcare for children under 5 to make sure sites are safe and childcare providers have basic safety skills. BPN supports childcare licensing and does not accept posts about childcare that should be licensed but isn't.
A babysitter is someone who comes to the child's home occasionally, such as a "date night", or temporarily, such as during school holidays. Babysitters may be high school or college students, or a nanny who is picking up extra hours on weekends and holidays.
A nanny is someone who is paid to come to your home to care for your child on a regular schedule.
A live-in nanny lives in your home and cares for your child in exchange for room, board, and a salary.
A daycare is childcare for children from more than one family that takes place in the home of the childcare provider. It may be called "family daycare" or "home-based childcare" or "preschool." The State of California's official name for care in the home of the provider is "Family Child Care Home". This type of childcare requires the home to be inspected and licensed by the state. BPN does not accept postings about unlicensed daycares. See About Childcare Licensing for more information. To search home-based daycares and read reviews, see Find Daycares & Preschools. If you'd like to post a review of your child's daycare, find its page on the BPN website and post under "Parent reviews" (you must be logged in to the website.) If your daycare doesn't have a page on BPN, contact us and give us their license number, and we'll make a page. Daycares can post about openings in the Announcements newsletter.
A childcare center is what the State calls childcare that does NOT take place in someone's home. A childcare center may accept all ages, from infants on up, or it may be a preschool that only accepts 3-5 year olds. The State of California licenses childcare centers separately from home-based daycares, and considers any program that cares for children, including a preschool or after-school program, to be a "childcare center." Requirements for a childcare center are more demanding than for home-based daycare, such as specifying the education level of the adults, space requirements per child, and the like. (see About Childcare Licensing for more information.) To search for a preschool or childcare center, see Find Daycares & Preschools. If you'd like to post a review of your child's preschool, find its page on the BPN website and post under "Parent reviews" (you must be logged in to the website.) If your preschool doesn't have a page on BPN, contact us and give us their license number, and we'll make a page. Centers and Preschools can post about openings in the Announcements newsletter.
Posts about childcare that should be licensed, but isn't. This includes:
Nanny shares that take place in the nanny's home. This is a Home-Based Daycare situation that requires a site license from the state of California. Exception: a license is not required if the nanny cares for only one other family's children besides his/her own.
Nanny shares that take place at a site that is not someone's home, such as a park, library, or other location. This is considered to be a Childcare Center or Preschool and requires a site license.
Playgroups, preschools, co-ops, shares, exchanges, or any other arrangement for children under 5 where parents are not present, there is a fee to participate, and the program does not have a license or an exemption from licensing. See also: About Co-ops & Childcare Exchanges and Forest Schools.
Nanny shares that are planned, organized and run by the nanny rather than one of the parents. For example, an announcement from a nanny who is recruiting parents for regularly-scheduled childcare with pre-determined hours. Nanny shares posted on BPN need to be organized by the parents.
"I saw your nanny" posts.
Parents sometimes want to report a babysitter they have seen neglecting her charges, or behaving in some other objectionable way. It is BPN's policy to not publish messages like this, and we do not accept posts that seek to contact the parents who hired the babysitter.
If you feel that you have witnessed child abuse or neglect by a parent or a sitter or anyone else, BPN is NOT the right place to report it. Please instead contact an agency that can protect children in danger. This is the very best way to protect the child. Here are some phone numbers that might be of assistance:
- Child Protective Services (Alameda County): (510) 259-1800
- Berkeley Police: (510) 644-5658
- Oakland Police: (510) 238-3333
If what you observed is not abuse or neglect, such as a someone speaking unkindly to a child, or not attending to them closely enough, then BPN recommends that you either offer to help, or else say nothing. This is because: 1) There is a range of parenting styles. What some of us consider "child-centered attachment parenting" others consider "over-protective" and "helicopter parenting." 2) No one is perfect. We all lose control sometimes and yell or speak harshly to our children, or take our attention away from them long enough for trouble to ensue.
Please assume the best and leave it alone unless you have reason to believe the child is in danger, in which case you should either offer to help, or contact an agency that can protect the child.