Finding Quality
step-by-step

Choosing an early care and education program is one of the most important decisions a family can make. At QUALITYstarsNY, we know that finding care can be a confusing, intimidating, and at times frustrating process.

Below are our top 5 keys for finding the best possible program for your child.

1

Start Early

Explore your Options

Start looking as far in advance as you can. No matter what type of care you are considering - a child care center or care in someone else's home - finding the right child care option can take some time.

Explore your childcare options

2

Make a Call

To Your Local CCR&R

Who else can help me find child care?

Begin your search by calling your local experts – your Child Care Resource and Referral Agency. CCR&Rs can give you the facts about early care and education programs and provide you with a list of available options that may meet your child and family's needs.


3

Visit and Ask Questions

in person and/or over phone

Like the sound of a program? Make an appointment to visit! Visiting a program is the best way to judge if it will be a good fit for your child and family. We recommend visiting at least 3 programs before making a decision.

Things to keep in mind:

  • Visit during regular business hours when children are present
  • Plan to stay at least an hour
  • Try to bring your child to see how s/he responds to the program staff and environment
  • Bring notes or a checklist to remind yourself of questions you want to ask and things you want to observe. QUALITYstarsNY has put together a checklist to help you determine whether the program is high quality.

4

Can't Find a Program?

If you're having difficulty finding care, Child Care Aware has some tips for ways to overcome this challenge.

If You Can't Find Care

Make a Choice

Think about what you observed at each visit, and make the best choice for your child and family.

Trust Your Instincts

One of the most important things you can do when interviewing child care providers is to pay attention to your instincts. Our Instincts often tell us things that we cannot define or put into words.

Ask Yourself:

  • What is your reaction to a place or provider?
  • Do you feel comfortable around the provider?
  • Will my child like coming here?

5

Get Involved

In Your Child's New Program

How do I know if my child is thriving in child care?

Once you have selected a child care arrangement you, of course, may feel relieved that the decision is made and the selection process complete. However, your responsibility as a parent or family member for evaluating your child's care has not ended. As an intelligent consumer of child care services, you will need to monitor your chosen program in an ongoing fashion. This will help protect your child and allow you peace of mind.

Tips for Getting Involved