Strategies for Visiting
Center and Family Providers

Visiting a Family-Home Based Care Provider can be very different from visiting a Center Based Program. Below is an overview of the different approaches required.

Visiting Center Based
Programs and Schools:

Try to visit a number of centers several months before the time you would like to enroll your child, particularly in the case of infant and toddler care. There is a great shortage of center care for infants and toddlers. In fact, there may be waiting lists for infants and toddlers.

If you are unable to conduct your search so far in advance, it is very important to act quickly on the referrals you receive. If you wait even a day, the opening may be filled.

Visiting Family-Home
Based Providers:

You will want to visit family day care homes somewhat closer to the time of enrolling because many providers do not know what their openings will be and usually are not able to hold spaces.

You may be able to do some of your screening of child care programs (particularly in the case of family day care homes) over the phone. In your telephone interview, verify the information supplied by the referral service, hours, fees and openings.