Shortcut Navigation:

How do I find quality child care?

Whether you're looking for a nanny, a family day-care provider, or a child-care center, you'll want to make sure that your child will be safe and happy in his or her day-care setting.

Start by asking your friends, family members, and neighbors for referrals to child-care providers that they've been happy with. You can also call Child Care Aware at (800) 424-2246 to find the Child Care Resource and Referral program nearest you. When you call your local program, you'll be referred to child-care providers in your area and given information about selecting a child-care provider, including information about how your state regulates child care.

Once you've compiled a list of providers, visit each one that seems suitable. If possible, bring your child so that you can see how the provider interacts with your child. During the visit, look for signs that the home is clean and safe, and that the children who stay there seem happy.

Finally, ask the provider for references from other parents, and call them. It's also essential to check state records to see if any complaints have been lodged against the provider.