Choosing Child Care
Child care is
often a child’s first time away from home. To help
make it a good experience, look for child care that supports
your child’s social, emotional and mental growth.
Finding the right child care program and provider takes
time. Look for a warm, welcoming place, trained caregivers
and small groups of children with each caregiver. And
look for a daily schedule with lots of activities that
are right for the age of your child.
Being apart can be difficult and frightening for both
you and your child. It helps if you spend some time with
him the first day or two. Bring along his favorite blanket
or toy. Ask your child care provider for other ideas.
Finding Child Care
To help families choose child care, each county
has a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency.
This agency can tell you about
licensing, child care homes and centers, free
or low-cost child
care and other services for parents. Call Child
Care Connection. Visit www.rrnetwork.org.
In this center, each small
group of children has a caring provider and a
When Choosing Child Care, Ask:
- Do the children seem happy and well cared
- Are the providers welcoming and willing
to take time to talk to you?
- Do they respond quickly to the children?
Do they seem caring?
- Is the place clean, safe and comfortable
for the children and the caregivers?
- Are there books, toys and games that fit
the ages of the children?
- Are there small groups of children with
- Do the caregivers kneel or sit at the children’s
- Do caregivers guide and discipline the children
gently and appropriately?
- Does the program keep children and caregivers
together over time?
- Do the caregivers plan each day’s
Things You Can Do
Where to Find Help
Emily, who has Down syndrome, is in a Head Start program.
Head Start includes children with disabilities in all
Kinds of Licensed Child Care
- Licensed child care must meet state health and safety
standards. At least one adult trained in first aid and
CPR must be there at all times. All adult caregivers
must be fingerprinted and cleared through TrustLine.
The state licensing department checks homes and centers
and responds to complaints. To find licensed child care
or to see if a home or center has had violations, call
Child Care Connection.
Family Child Care takes place in the home of the provider.
A provider who cares for children from more than one
family must be licensed. This type of care offers small
groups and continuity of care in a family setting.
Center-Based Child Care must meet additional standards.
The caregivers have more training and each one cares
for fewer children.