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Selecting Childcare

  • Visit our website. Request a telephone or in-person appointment by email at or call 621-1530. Screen referrals by telephone in preparation for your visits.

  • During your visit(s), note the availability and responsiveness of staff, and the quality of books, toys, supplies and equipment present. For centers, request to meet the director, teachers, and assistants who will likely be working with your children. Spend time in the classroom and outdoors observing adult to child, and child to child interactions and transitions. Similarly, for family childcare homes, schedule your visit(s) with the provider and children present. Observe the home and outdoor set-up, and how the provider engages a group of multi-age children and manages transitions.

  • Location is an important issue. While having childcare close to your campus setting may seem ideal, other features can influence the success of your arrangement (and the ease of your child’s transition). These can include childcare near public transportation or that is closer to your home and childcare at or near your child’s school or proximal to another responsible adult’s location (as applicable). Such extended choices may give you more flexibility should you need care when you are not at your campus location.

  • If your child has special health considerations, discuss with the director/provider. Inquire about relevant protocols, and staff experience and training.

  • Federal laws may be applicable to your child’s care experience. The United States Department of Justice provides information about childcare programs and services, and the Americans with Disability Act (ADA). Visit here as part of ADA Technical Assistance Materials.

  • The United States Department of Education (ED) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination in programs or activities that receive federal financial assistance from ED. Learn more about ED OCR here.

  • As you prioritize your final choices, you may also wish to learn about public, compliance and background facility information here. DHS office locations and phone numbers are available here.

  • For small family childcare homes, you may contact the Department of Economic Security. DES office locations and phone numbers are available here.

  • Finally, be flexible and fully research available options. Select the environment and staff offering the broadest complement of required and desired features. Contact our office again if assistance is needed or your situation changes.