Child Care Options
You want the best for your child.
Children need care that keeps them safe, healthy, and learning.
And you need a child care provider that supports you as your child’s most important teacher and works with you to ensure your child’s healthy development and learning.
When you have peace of mind that your child is safe, happy, and learning, you can focus on your work and providing for your family.
There are many types of child care to choose from, and it is important to find a provider that fits the needs of your child and your family. When choosing a child care provider, there are many factors to consider.
This section provides important information about different kinds of child care programs, including how different types of programs are regulated.
You will also find some tips and tools to help make your child care choice easier.
If you have questions or want to talk with someone about the types of child care available in your community, there are state and local agencies that can help you. They can provide additional information to help you make the best choice for your child.
You can select any of the agency types below to find more information about these services in your state. Once you select one of the agencies below, select your state under the “Get Child Care Resources”. You will then see a variety of child care related resources including information about finding quality child care and financial assistance for families.
Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies: CCR&R agencies can help you by phone, in person, online, or via email. Most of these agencies also have websites with child care information and resources.
Child care licensing agencies: Licensing agencies set basic rules that must be followed to legally run a child care program. The purpose of these basic licensing regulations is to help protect the health and safety of children in child care. When states set these rules, they include different rules for different kinds of child care programs, such as child care centers and family child care homes. Here are some examples of topics covered by basic licensing regulations:
Safety in the building and physical environment
The number of children and child care providers on site
Preventing the spread of infectious diseases
Staff qualifications and training
Not all child care providers are required to be licensed, so it is important to check to see if the child care program you are considering is licensed.
The requirements for licensing vary across states and there are many different kinds of programs that may not be required to be licensed. You may not be able to tell if a provider is licensed just by visiting or talking to with the provider. Ask to see a license and check with the agency that is responsible for child care licensing in your state.
Child care assistance agencies: If you need help paying for child care, assistance may be available. Each state has an agency that is responsible for a child care assistance program that helps low-income families pay for child care. Each state has its own guidelines for who is eligible for assistance. These agencies may also help you learn about child care options in your state and local area.
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