How to choose the best child care setting
A graphic shows a picture in the upper left-hand corner of a mother holding an infant in her arms. They are walking toward a line that winds like a maze down through the graphic. Along this line are circles and a rectangle that indicate decisions the mother will need to make about child care. The first circle along the line asks, “Yes?” After this, the line continues to a question: “What kind of program?” The line continues and flows through three options in circles. The first circle asks, “Family Child Care Home?” The next circle asks, “Child Care Center?” The third circle asks, “Family, Friend, or Neighbor?” After this, the line continues through a small circle that says, “Okay.” The line continues to a rectangle that asks, “What elements of quality should I be considering?” The line flows out of the rectangle and branches out to six things to consider. First: “Loving and nurturing relationships between adults and children.” Second: “Teachers, directors, family child care providers trained in child development.” Third: “A safe and healthy environment.” Fourth: “Learning activities that support each child’s interests, growth, and needs.” Fifth: “Low teacher child ratio.” Sixth: “Families have relationship with the program/staff.” At the bottom, the graphic shows a picture of a father holding an infant while two other children are standing by him. The text next to him says, “Quality Counts California helps you navigate this maze!”
Other Resources to Help Understand Quality
The California Department of Education, Early Learning and Care Division, offers a free resource guide, Care About Quality: Your Guide to Child Care, with information on quality early learning and care and things to consider when choosing an environment that is right for you and your child(ren).
California’s Department of Social Services Child Care Licensing Program provides additional health and safety information on licensed child care centers and family child care homes throughout California.
The California Child Care Resource & Referral Network offers free resources and key information. A key information and resource is TrustLine, which is a registry parents can use to help them select an in-home or home care provider for their children. All early learning and care professionals listed with TrustLine have passed a background screening. For more information about TrustLine, visit www.trustline.org, or call 1.800.822.8490.
Quality Counts California offers a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) resource for parents on what a quality rating and improvement system (QRIS) is and its importance in your child care search. A reminder: The FAQ document is available via the Collaboration in Common link given above; once in this digital library, you can see the PDF file in your browser for download or print.