Choosing Quality Child Care

What should I look for in an early care and education program?

A foundation for lifelong learning can be formed in early childhood and quality childcare gives them a solid start.

Look for a program that is attentive to each child and plans activities that guide and support children’s discovery, learning and sociability.

When you visit potential programs, observe the children – notice if the children appear happy and engaged in activities that encourages exploration and peer-to-peer interactions. Ask questions to learn about their strategies for promoting children’s healthy development such as:

  • What type of activities do they provide that enable children to build their memory, make choices, build self-esteem and independence?
  • What sort of activities do they provide to build physical skills and endurance?
Boys with paints
Kids at desk coloring
  • How often are children involved in reading and building language skills?
  • In what ways do they help children understand math concepts such as number quantities and measurements?
  • How do they help children develop social skills— feeling empathy, respecting cultural diversity, following rules & routines?
  • Good child care is not impossible to find – it may take work, but once you find it, you will feel peace of mind and be confident about your choice.
Young girl at a desk learning numbers

What steps should I take to find an early care and education program I like?

Learning to write
Learning to write
  • Schedule a time to visit and interview the child care program, visit several if possible.
  • Discuss the program’s financial expectations and ask them to go over their contract, policies, and closures so you are clear about expectations and policies.
  • Ask them if they can give you some names and contact information of parents so that you can ask them about their experiences and level of satisfaction with the program.
  • Tell them specific information about your child to help them plan how to provide appropriate care for your child.
  • Ask to see their file of licensing visit records to read about prior inspections.
  • Contact Community Care Licensing (844-538-8766) to learn about their record of compliance with regulations.
  • After your visit, reflect on your impressions, and if needed, call back with remaining questions. Trust your instincts. Personal feelings are very important in choosing child care and we advise you to trust your feelings and intuitions.
  • Schedule a follow-up visit if necessary to enroll and fill out the necessary paperwork.

Getting Off To A Good Start

  • Prepare your child for their first day in child care. Explain what is going to happen. Be positive and upbeat and assure your child they will be well cared for. Create a goodbye routine and assure them you will be back.
  • Help the provider become acquainted with your child – give them pertinent information in writing or about your child’s home routines.
  • Remember, it may take time for your child and you to adjust to a new child care situation. It is best that you establish and maintain open communication to discuss concerns. Care situations that work well are often due to communication and keeping an open mind.