Why does quality matter?

The quality of care that your child receives can have a far-reaching impact on his or her success. High-quality child care helps children develop trust, autonomy, and feelings of happiness and well-being. Children in high-quality care tend to show more positive social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development.

What does quality look like?

The quality of care that your child receives can have a far-reaching impact on his or her success. High-quality child care helps children develop trust, autonomy, and feelings of happiness and well-being. Children in high-quality care tend to show more positive social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development.

What types of child care are available?

There are many child care options today. The most common types are child care centers, group child care homes, family child care homes, and informal caregivers such as nannies, babysitters, neighbors, and relatives.

How do I choose a quality child care program?

Visit the programs you are considering. Look around, and talk with the director, with parents of children currently enrolled in the program, and with the caregiver who will be working with your child. Prepare a checklist of issues prior to your visit.

Where can I go for help choosing child care?

Look for a high-quality program that meets your family's needs in terms of location, hours of operation, and cost. Refer to your local child care resource and referral agency to learn about specific program in your area. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is a good resource for information on quality child care.

How do I make the transition into child care easier?

Going to child care for the first time is a big change for both parents and children. Some parents feel anxious about leaving their child in the care of a stranger, and some children feel anxious about being in an unfamiliar environment. Know the anxiety will lessen as you and your child adjust to child care. Preparing your child in advance will help make the transition smoother.