Growing Upwards is a searchable directory of childcare, camps, and classes across the Portland Metro Area. We include the following types of providers on this website:
- Daycare—a center or home-based environment for young children to play, socialize, and learn often while a parent or guardian is unable to provide care due to work or other obligations. See all day cares.
- Preschool (preK)—an early child learning environment for kids to play, socialize, and become familiar with academic concepts, such as pre-literacy, pre-math, and problem solving.
- Summer camps and other day-, weekend-, or week-long structured activities throughout the year across a wide range of subjects.
- One-time and recurring classes and lessons including sports, arts, music, and other learning-based activities.
We provide you the opportunity to claim and update your unique provider listing so that you can make sure it’s always current.
Do you perform background checks on providers?
No, we do not. This website is a resource to help people explore different childcare, camps, and class options across the city. If you find a provider that looks appealing, please do your own due-diligence before enrolling your child–including family references, the Better Business Bureau, and various State resources.
What is QRIS?
A QRIS is a systemic approach to assess, improve, and communicate the level of quality in early and school-age care and education programs. Similar to rating systems for restaurants and hotels, QRIS award quality ratings to early and school-age care and education programs that meet a set of defined program standards. By participating in their State’s QRIS, early and school-age care providers embark on a path of continuous quality improvement. Even providers that have met the standards of the lowest QRIS levels have achieved a level of quality that is beyond the minimum requirements to operate. Learn more about QRIS.
Confused by the educational philosophies you see listed on Growing Upwards? Click here for an explanation.
Finding Child Care Checklist
You’ve done the research, you’ve narrowed down the options. You are ready for the next step: touring childcare facilities.
How are you supposed to tell, after a short tour, if this is the place where your child can thrive?
To start, ask the following question: Do I feel comfortable and welcomed in the space?
If the answer is yes, move onto the following questions which may help you organize your thoughts and keep track of your experiences.
If the answer is no, thank the facility and go grab a cup of coffee with your newly found free time. Isn’t there a podcast you’ve been meaning to catch up on?
- Can children see themselves in the environment, ie. children’s artwork displayed, images of children on the walls?
- Is the environment neat and tidy?
- Are art materials and toys kept where children can access them without adult assistance?
- Is there natural light in the classroom?
- Do the toys and materials appear to have open-ended uses?
- Are snacks and meals something you’d feed your child at home?
- What would the environment look like through my child’s eyes? (Don’t be afraid to sit on the floor to get the full perspective!)
- How often is the bathroom cleaned?
- How often are the rugs vacuumed?
- Do you notice any prevailing smells, pleasant or otherwise?
- Are there signs telling staff what they may and may not do, signaling distrust?
Teachers and Children
- Are teachers attentive to the children?
- Do children/staff appear joyful?
- What is the school/center’s professional development budget?
- How are teachers expected to gain new skills and hone their craft?
- Do teachers use a respectful, loving tone when speaking with children?
- Do teachers receive paid sick leave? (Facilities that don’t provide sick leave have a have a greater risk of ill teachers working with children.)
- Ask about the staff retention rate. Is it within your expectations?
- Are children playing by themselves or in groups?
- Are academics handled in a developmentally appropriate way?
- Does the school have a guiding philosophy?
- What is the policy if your child is ill?
- What accommodations are made for children with special needs/learning differences?
- Ask about discipline policies. Do they mesh with your parenting style?
- Are children in all stages of toilet changing welcome?
- What is my role as a parent?
- How is parent/teacher communication handled?
- What should I be packing for my child each day?
How to Update Your Listing
Are you already listed on Growing Upwards? Great! Now check your provider listing to ensure everything is accurate and up-to-date. If it’s not, please consider claiming your listing, which will allow you to make updates whenever you desire. To do so, simply click the ‘Claim Listing’ button on the main banner image of your organization’s provider page.
NOTE: You’ll need to go through the checkout process (even though claiming your listing is completely free) and create a user account if you don’t already have one. Once you do this, you’ll have a personalized provider listing page where you update to your heart’s content!
How to Add an Opening
Looking to fill or expand your classroom, camp, or less? Post your current opening to let families acrossPortland know you have space! Click here to submit your opening.
To submit an opening, you must have a listing on Growing Upwards
- If you are a child care provider that is not yet listed with us, please add yourself. It’s free and easy.
- If your listing is already active on Growing Upwards and you have claimed it, you can add your opening by going to the My Listings page (you will need to be logged in to access this page).
Whether you are adding a new listing or editing an existing listing, you should look for the section below that asks you whether you have any current openings and, if so, invites you to describe them to help people looking for care decide whether you may be a good fit for them.