Finding the right child care provider for your family is a personal choice, and not one that can be outsourced very easily. Child Care Aware® of America Executive Director Lynette Fraga, PhD, spoke with Scott MacFarlane of NBC Washington about some specific questions parents can ask, ways to assess your unique family needs and how to understand and develop an ongoing relationship with your child care provider. Watch the clip below.
In other words, you can follow these four steps for finding care:
- Identify what's important to you from child care providers by asking yourself different questions.
- Think about location, cost, availability, quality, etc.
- Make a list of providers that might meet that criteria. Tip: use your Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency to help you find these providers. Learn more about CCR&Rs below.
- Tour the child care centers and/or family child care homes
- Be sure to ask the staff questions using one of our child care checklists. Talk to the caregivers and directors. You may also have an opportunity to speak with another parent.
- Select the provider who works best for your family and meets all your needs.
Have additional questions?
It's normal to have a lot of questions about child care when first starting your search. Your best resource for learning more about the options in your area is through your local CCR&R. These agencies help parents take the guesswork out of choosing care by providing:
- Referrals to local child care providers
- Information on state licensing requirements.
- Information on where to get help paying for child care
- and more
CCR&Rs assist families by phone, in person and in other ways that are tailored to each family. The majority of CCR&Rs have websites with child care information and resources. In addition to assistance finding child care, many CCR&Rs offer parenting workshops, hotlines and newsletters.