Tips On Finding Childcare

Looking for Child Care?
Here are a few tips on what to look for when finding high quality child care

1.Identify what’s important to you by asking yourself different questions. Think about location, cost, availability, quality, etc.
2. 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 the Child Care Council of Orange County Inc. a Resource and Referral agency. We help parents take the guesswork out of choosing care by providing:
• FREE Referrals to legal child care providers
• Information on state licensing requirements
• Information on where to get help paying for child care
• Parenting workshops
Make a list of the programs that might meet your criteria.
3. Visit different types of providers, such as centers and family child care homes, before you make your decision.
• Call and schedule a tour.
• Plan on staying for at least one hour so that you can see the different activities.
• Ask to spend time specifically in the room where your child might be so that you can see how the provider/staff work with the children.
• Ask to meet all of the staff that might be working with your child.
• Be sure to ask questions using one of our child care checklists and discuss any concerns.
4. Select the program that 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.

When choosing child care, visit different types of providers, such as centers or family child care homes, before you make your decision. When you have determined which providers you want to visit, plan on the following:
• Call and schedule a tour.
• Plan on staying for at least one hour so that you can see the different activities.
• Ask to spend time specifically in the room where your child might be so that you can see how the providers work with the children.
• Ask to meet all of the caregivers that might be working with your child.
• Ask questions about the program to staff and the owner/director.
Use the checklists below when you visit a child care program to help you make the best decision for your child. Check with your local resource and referral agency regarding what additional regulations or guidelines that providers must follow when caring for your child.

Below are some Checklists based on the modality of care that you are looking for.
We suggest that you take the check list to your tour to help guide your visit.

Center Checklist
Family and Group Checklist
Preschool Checklist
School-Age Checklist