How do I choose the right child care?

Your choice of child care can have a huge affect on your child. While it can't replace a parent's love and attention, well-chosen child care can supplement the parents' role and boost your child's develop language, social skills, and self-esteem.

  1. Decide which care is best for your child. Look for features that will help your child thrive. Consider the caregiver's education, experience, and training, as well as the size of the group and setting.
  2. Research your options. Gather basic information about licensed and registered child care on the Search Texas Child Care website - www.txchildcaresearch.org. From there, you can  view results of Child Care Licensing (CCL) inspections  and details about the child care provider. You should also ask friends, family, and other parents if they can recommend child care providers.
  3. Narrow your list to the child care operations you like the most. Visit while children are there so you can see what kind of activities are done, how the caregiver interacts with children, and how the children seem to like it there. Imagine how your child would feel if he or she were there 8 to 10 hours a day. Take your child to visit the center or home. Get results of the last CCL inspection through www.txchildcaresearch.org, or ask providers for copies of their latest CCL inspections. Note whether or not they are compliant with minimum standards. Ask whether or not the provider has any additional accreditation, and discuss the requirements of those standards, as well.
  4. Most importantly, meet with the caregiver or director. Discuss your concerns and make sure you are happy with their answers. Return unannounced for a second look.