A Message From the ELC / Parents / Looking for Child Care?

Looking for Child Care?

Looking for Child Care?

Choosing a child care provider is one of the most important decisions a parent makes. It can be an overwhelming, intimidating and, at times, a frustrating experience.

There are many factors to consider when selecting child care including location, cost, and whether there are openings for your child. It is also important to think about which type of care is best for your child, what curriculum best meets your child's needs, and the staff’s training and experience. The good news is that help is here. The Early Learning Coalition helps parents make informed decisions when choosing a provider for their children.

Next steps:

1.    Know how to identify a quality provider?
  Read “ A Parent’s Guide to Child Care - Family Guide for Selecting Quality Early Learning Programs (pdf 1.06 MB) ” to learn about child care options, including the types of care and what to look for in quality child care.
2. Need a list of possible child care providers?
  Return a completed Customer Intake Form (pdf 377.72 kB)  to the ELC (email it to [email protected] or fax it to (850) 922-0075) to receive a list of possible providers based on the criteria you select.
3. Review child care providers on-line.
  Create a short list of providers that meet your family’s needs.  Review each provider’s information, including information on services, staff training, accreditation, and compliance with state laws through the DCF’s CARES system.
4. Choose a quality child care provider.
  Now that you know what to look for and what to ask, use “ A Parent Checklist for Quality Child Care (pdf 595.28 kB) ” when visiting each provider. You can also use the “Know Your Child Care Facility” brochure when visiting providers.  Then choose the provider that best meets your family’s needs.
5. Need help paying for child care?
  Submit a School Readiness application for financial help with child care now that you’ve chosen a provider.

Apply here.

If you need more help, contact the ELC’s Child Care Resource and Referral Line toll-free at 1-866-973-9030 or by emailing [email protected].


Other Helpful Resources

Selecting quality care takes time, but it will help you find the care you want for your child.  For information on:

Afterschool programs - read the “Florida Standards for Quality Afterschool Programs.”

Summer care - use the “Selecting Summer Care for School-Age Children:  A Quality Checklist.”

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