Where can I get referrals for child care programs in my area?
211 Child Care Referral
211 Child Care Referral can provide free guidance and information about:
- child care
- behavioral strategies
- school readiness & tips
- early childhood development
- family stress & anxiety
- parenting classes & support
- local play groups
- foster care support
- basic family resources
- and much more!
What are the steps for finding quality child care after I receive my referrals?
No matter what type of care you are considering, whether a child care center or care in someone else’s home, finding the right child care option can take some time. Many quality child care businesses are full.
Make Calls and Begin Interviewing Child Care Businesses
Call the child care business, set up interviews, and plan to visit each place that you have been referred to.
Visit and Ask Questions
When visiting the child care business, find out about the number of children in care and how many children there are for each adult. Ask about the training and education of the child care professional. Check how long the child care business has been providing care. Find out if the child care business is licensed, and if it is accredited, what standards it meets. Check references and the child care business complaint history.
Evaluate Your Options
Did the children look happy? Was the environment clean, inviting, engaging, and stimulating? Were the children supervised at all times? Were the children served nutritious meals? Were the children engaged in play with educational opportunities? Were the staff well-trained? Can you visit your children at any time?
Make a Choice
Think about what you saw at each visit; then make the best choice for your child and family. Does the child care professional relate well to children? Is the setting appropriate for children? Is it safe?
The work isn’t over when you find good care for your child. You and your child care professional are partners now. Have regular meetings, volunteer time when needed, and be there for your child’s special events.