Questions to Consider When Choosing Daycare

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Choosing Childcare & Preschools: Child drawing

Looking for someone you feel you can trust to care for your child is an important step. Knowing what to look for can help you make the right decision. Here are questions to consider when choosing childcare.

What does my child need?

  • One of the most important parts of selecting a childcare environment for your child is to make sure that it fits your child’s personality and temperament. This brochure from Zero to Three, a website that focuses on the needs of young children, parents, and caregivers, will be invaluable in deciding what sort of place will work best for your child: Matching Your Infant or Toddler’s Style to the Right Childcare Setting (PDF), Spanish version (PDF)

How do I start?

How do I decide?

  • The Community Child Care Council (4 C's) of Santa Clara County is a valuable resource in your search for the child care. Start your search with their "Tips on Choosing Quality Child Care."

How do I find the names of childcare providers in my area?

What can I afford to pay for childcare? How much will it cost? What if I need help paying?

  • You can use this Child Care Options Calculator from Child Care Aware to determine how paying for childcare will fit into your monthly budget.
  • Child Care Aware also helps parents find information on locating quality childcare and childcare resources in their community. It routes you to childcare resources and referral services in your area..
  • 4C’s (Community Child Care Council of Santa Clara County) lists local "Free or Low Cost Child Care” programs.
  • The Santa Clara County – Centralized Eligibility List supports families living in Santa Clara County who need help paying for childcare. Online resources help you determine your eligibility (based on income), lists participating childcare providers, and has an application form that can be filled out, then submitted by mail, fax or e-mail.
  • Choices for Children, another local agency, offers financial assistance for childcare services to eligible families, and also a range of parent education classes.

How do I prepare my child to go to childcare or preschool?

  • Talk to your child about what they will do, especially the daily routine and when you will be picking them up.
  • Take your child on a visit with you to the site. Take enough time to allow your child to explore, play, and “get to know” the environment.
  • Read books with your child about going to daycare and preschool. This  "Child Care / Preschool Booklist" will help.

What do I do if I have a complaint about my child’s daycare or preschool?

  • Complaints concerning both family child care homes and child care centers in Monterey, San Benito, Santa Clara, & Santa Cruz Counties should be reported to :

    San Jose Regional Office of the Community Care Licensing Division Child Care

    Carol Marcroft, Regional Manager

    2580 N. First Street, Suite 300, MS 29-08 San Jose, CA 95131 (408) 324-2148 FAX (408) 324-2160

    Further instructions on filing complaints can be found on this State Department of Social Services page

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