Choosing Child Care Checklist

Finding the right care for your child is one of the most important decisions your family can make. Here are some tips on how to approach your child care search. A printable version of this checklist is viewable here.

1. Learn About the Services and Policies

Determine the services provided.
Ask to see the license.
Review the parent handbook and contract.

2. Observe the Program and Ask Questions

Check for a safe and nuturing environment.
☐ Count the number of children/adults.
☐ Meet the caregiver(s) who will be with your child.
☐ Imagine your child in the environment.
☐ Observe the children.

3. Make Your Decision

☐ Ask for references.
☐ Check the licensing complaint history.
☐ Call Community Care Licensing at (408) 324-2148 for information about licensed family child care homes and licensed child care centers.
☐ Consider your instincts.

4. Evaluate and Re-Evaluate

☐ After enrolling your child, continue to evaluate your decision.
☐ Call the Child Development Resource Center for further assistance.
☐ Evaluate after your child has been in a program 4–8 weeks.

At any step along the way, the Child Development Resource Center can answer your questions on the phone, by email or in person.