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Make sure your child’s care is as great as your child!
Choosing your child’s care is a very important decision. Child Care Solutions is a no-cost Resource and Referral service. We offer individual child care referrals to help families choose the child care program that best fits their needs. With our up-to-date information about local child care options, quality indicators, and steps to take when seeking care, we are here to assist. All information shared with Child Care Solutions is confidential and used for the purpose of assisting you in your search for child care. We do not license, endorse or recommend any one program over another. The button below offers families the option to search for child care online in your area by asking questions on what you and your family are looking for. Our database will compile a list of child care options for you and give you their contact information.
- Call potential child care providers and ask questions (see quality questions below)
- Visit the child care facility and classroom and / or child care home (see what to look for below)
- Ask for and contact parents of currently enrolled children (see questions to ask current parents below)
- Review their licensing history via the Division of Child Development and Early Education: or call 800.859.0829
Questions to Consider When Choosing Child Care:
- Is the program licensed?
- Are the hours acceptable & fees affordable?
- Is the facility safe, well maintained, bright and pleasant?
- Are the toys safe and appropriate?
- Are medicines/cleaning products locked away?
- Is there a posted schedule for nutritious meals, naps, playtimes, story time and individual quiet time?
- Do caregivers enjoy the children and are the children’s needs responded to quickly?
- Are the children greeted when they arrive?
- Do caregivers play with children?
- Are the caregivers gentle with the children?
- What is the center’s/caregiver’s discipline policy?
- Do caregivers communicate with parents to share information about children’s activities and schedules regularly?
- How are parents encouraged to be involved and active in the center? Is there an open-door policy for visiting your child during the day?
- Are the activities varied, age-appropriate, and enjoyable?
- Do the children play outdoors each day?
- Are parents welcome to spend time there?
- Do children have the opportunity to explore and choose their own play?/li>
- Is the caregiver’s style appropriate for your child’s age and temperament?
- Will the size of the group allow your child to get the attention they need?
- If there is a disagreement, would you be comfortable discussing it with the caregiver?
- Are caregivers the role models you want for your child?
- Visualize your child in this setting. Is it a happy image?
Providers that follow the lower staff to child ratios may receive a higher rating from the state.
Family Child Care Homes:
- 1 adult to 5 preschool age and 3 school-age children
Child Care Centers:
- Infants (6 wks.-12 mos.) – 1 adult to 5 infants
- Toddlers (12 mos.-2yrs.) – 1 adult to 6 toddlers
- Twos – 1 adult to 8-10 two year olds
- Threes – 1 adult to 9-15 three year olds
- Fours – 1 adult to 12-20 four year olds
- School-age – 1 adult to 14-20 five years and older
For additional licensing information and current star regulations and changes, refer to the NC Child Development and Early Education web address:
Making Your Visit
Visiting the child care program before you sign up is a crucial step. Here are some tips to make the most of that visit:
- Speak over the phone and get basic information. Conversations over the phone can help you decide if you want to visit the program. You may have to arrange a time to speak because providers may be busy taking care of children.
- Arrange for a visit. Choose a time when you can see the busy activity of the day, as well as naptimes and/or mealtime.
- Take a checklist with you. Visit a program more than once, and at different times of the day, so that you can get a sense of the flow of an average day.
- When visiting a center program, speak to provider(s) who would care for your child. Make sure you speak directly with the child care provider who would be caring for your child. It is important to build a relationship with the person who will be spending the most time with your child.
- Ask to speak to other parents using the program. Get a different view point on the kind of care provided, their experience and level of satisfaction.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel you need to visit again, do it. You are the best judge of what your child needs.