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Finding the Right Child Care

Choosing the right child care for your child is a thoughtful process. Early childhood experiences and environments impact brain development and set the stage for successful academic, social and emotional growth. The good news is parents have options when it comes to identifying the best type of child care environment to support their child’s developmental needs.

Here are some tips to keep in mind when searching for a child care provider:

Start your search early. Looking for the right child care environment well before it’s needed can help parents make informed choices. Parents should choose a child care environment that promotes healthy growth and development.

Visit the agency. The parent-provider relationship is critical to a child’s development. Visit each agency a few times, and speak with a variety of staff to see if the provider would be a good fit for your child as they grow. If your child is older, for example a toddler or preschooler, bring them along to gauge their reaction to the child care environment as well.

Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to ask about things like meals and snacks, naptime, if and how children are disciplined, and what activities are provided to keep child development on track. Review the child care agency’s report card, which is prominently placed where parents can see them within all state licensed child care agencies along with the agency’s

Make Drop-In Visits Often. Once a child is enrolled in an agency, visit often. Parents should be encouraged to visit, even if it is an unannounced visit. Maintaining an open partnership with a child care provider will ensure the child is receiving care that meets the family’s expectations, as well as the child’s developmental needs.

Additional Resources

Interactive Child Care Locators Map

Child Care Resource and Referral Centers

Child Care Certificate Program

Child Care Star Rating

Child Care Rules and Regulations

Child Care Aware