About Child Care

There is a lot to consider when choosing an early childhood education provider. You’ll want to find a provider that offers the type of care you want, fits within your budget, and meets your scheduling needs. On top of that, it’s also important to make sure it’s a high-quality program where your child can play, learn, and grow. So how do you choose? Here are some resources to help you to select an early childhood education provider that is the perfect fit for your family.

Before choosing a child care provider, it can be helpful to schedule visits to a few different programs. You can learn a great deal about each program when you spend time there in-person watching daily routines and asking questions. When you visit, use one of these Child Care Checklists to see if it meets the needs of your family and is a quality program.

  • Keys to Quality Child Care Checklist – This comprehensive checklist was developed by the Child Care Resource Center. This tool was created by child development specialists, researchers, and families to help you make the best choice when choosing child care.
  • 5 Steps to Choosing Child Care – This resource was created by Child Care Aware to guide you through the important steps to take when looking for care. Helpful tips are shared on where to look, what to look for, and what to do after you select a provider.
  • Selecting a Child Care Program – Another resource created by Child Care Aware. This tool gives information on what a quality program looks like. Use this when you visit child care programs to help you make your decision.

Child care can be expensive. In fact, it can be the most costly part of a family’s monthly budget – even more so than housing, food, and transportation. Finding the perfect fit for your family also means choosing care that is affordable. Check out the Financial Assistance resources below to support you in paying for child care.

  • Paying for Child Care – Child Care Aware has developed a set of financial resources for families to help pay for child care. Click on the link to get more information on federal and state child care programs, budgeting, and more.

For more support, you can contact a Child Care Referral Specialist at (202) 829-2500 or email osse.dcchildcareconnections@dc.gov