When choosing a child care program, the most important consideration is finding a program that provides high-quality care. Choose the highest-quality program that fits your budget and schedule - and remember that high-quality child care is worth the extra cost!
Your community has a local child care resource and referral agency whose responsibility is to link you with child care programs in your area. Trained Parent Counselors at your child care resource and referral agency are familiar with the different child care options and may be able to guide you to programs that best meet your family's needs. Your child care resource and referral agency can also provide you with information on early childhood development and can help answer your questions about children with special needs. To find your local child care resource and referral agency in Georgia , go to the Georgia Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies (GACCRRA) and click on the city that's closest to your home. If you do not live in Georgia , contact Child Care Aware or call toll-free at 800-424-2246.
The Cooperative Extension system nationwide has a variety of information available on choosing quality child care. You might be interested in the following publications from Extension offices across the country:
For more information and indicators of quality child care, check out Is This the Right Place for My Child?: 38 Research-Based Indicators of High-Quality Child Care, created by the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has a series of publications for parents that will help you understand more about how to identify high-quality child care. For more information, you might want to read the following NAEYC articles:
Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers, and Families has useful information on child care for parents of very young children. For more information, take a look at the Zero to Three features on their Parent site. You may find the following articles on infants and toddlers especially helpful:
Proceed to the final section: How do I make the transition into child care easier?