What does quality child care look like?
While CCRC works with child care professionals to improve the quality of care, we do not inspect or warrant the condition of a child care facility or the quality of supervision the children receive.
Contact one of CCRC’s Resource and Referral Specialists to learn about the wide variety of early care and education programs and resources available to you. Your child’s social, emotional, nutritional and physical development is dependent on the choices you make to find the right child care. Once you’re ready to get out there and start the search, download our Keys to Quality Child Care Checklist to take with you on your journey.
Request a list of child care referrals for licensed professionals in one of two ways:
- Utilize CCRC’s online child care referrals database, or
- Call a Referral Specialist at (818) 717-1000 in the San Fernando Valley, (661) 789-1200 in the Antelope Valley, (909) 384-8000 in San Bernardino or (760) 245-0770 in Victorville.
Learn about the environment that works best for you and your family. Here are some factors to keep in mind when you are choosing a child care setting. Does your child:
- Handle separation well?
- Make friends easily or prefer to hang out with one friend?
- Fit in with a small group and lots of attention or does she prefer a larger group with lots of activity and playmates?
- Have special needs to consider?
- Need help with toilet training?
Visit as many child care programs as possible. Each time you visit, think about your first impression and then keep going. Make sure to visit places you like more than once and at different times of the day – meal time, nap time, drop off, outside play, circle time – and stay as long as possible. Ask yourself some questions:
- Does the child care environment look safe and appropriate for the age of your child?
- Do the caregivers/teachers seem to enjoy talking and playing with the children?
- Are the children spoken to with respect and at eye level?
- Are there plenty of toys and learning materials within reach of the children?
Listen to the sounds of the child care setting. What do you hear? A place that is too quiet may mean there is not enough activity to keep the children engaged. A place that is too noisy may indicate a lack of adult control.
- Do the children sound happy and involved?
- What about the teacher’s voices? Are they cheerful and patient?
- How do the teachers react when a child cries?
Count the number of children and child care staff in the group. The fewer the number of children for each adult, the more attention your child will get. A small ratio of children to adults is especially vital for the health and safety of babies and younger children. For more about child care licensing rules and adult to child ratios, contact the California Department of Social Services, Community Care Licensing Division.
Interview potential child care professionals. Ask all of the adults who may have contact with your child about their background, knowledge, experience and education levels. Quality early care and education professionals will be happy to answer these questions for you. Check out these websites for important information regarding Child Safety and Welfare:
TrustLine is the only authorized screening program of in-home caregivers in the state of California with access to fingerprint records at the California Department of Justice and the FBI.
Community Care Licensing is responsible for regulating the operation of child care centers and family child care homes. CCL personnel screen licensing applications, evaluate facilities and homes for licensing standards, investigate complaints, and make visits to monitor for regulation compliance.
Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is a county government department that takes child abuse and neglect reports, conducts investigations into the allegations of abuse or neglect and makes recommendations for action based on the welfare and safety of children. The hotline number for reporting child abuse is (800) 540-4000.
Oliver’s Law: Parents have the right to receive information regarding any substantiated or inconclusive complaint about any child care provider. That information is public and can be acquired by calling the local licensing office.
Megan’s Law: This website provides information on registered sex offenders pursuant to California Penal Code § 290.46 so that members of the public can better protect themselves and their families.
CCRC is not responsible for arrangements, contracts made between parent and child care professionals.
For more information, please contact your local CCRC Resource & Referral Department, click here to view our locations.