Resources for Parents
- Resource Guide: Child Care Information for Families
- How to find good quality child care
- Resources to help you choose quality child care
- Finding help to pay for child care
- Finding your local Head Start program and checking to see if you qualify for services
- Health and safety regulations for child care programs in your State
- Reporting child abuse and neglect
This resource guide provides general information about child care and helps families find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Child Care Aware can help you locate quality child care and child care resources in your community. Visit www.childcareaware.org or call 1-800-424-2246 for assistance.
Child Care Aware provides useful information that can help you choose a quality child care program. Check out these resources for parents and guardians. Topics include:
- Choosing quality child care
- Child care for infants and toddlers
- School-age child care
- Choosing quality child care for children with special needs
- Relatives caring for children while you work or go to school
Child care assistance is available to eligible families through State agencies that administer Federal Child Care and Development grants. Each State determines eligibility requirements for families within its State. Contact the agency in your State directly for your eligibility information and how to apply for assistance.
In some States, families can apply by telephone or mail. In many communities there also are child care resource and referral agencies that can provide information about how to apply for child care assistance. A list of child care resource and referral agencies is available from Child Care Aware. Visit www.childcareaware.org or call 1-800-424-2246 to locate an agency near you.
Families are able to select from a variety of authorized providers, including those sponsored by faith-based organizations that may engage in religious activities as part of the daily services they provide.
Contact the Head Start or Early Head Start agency serving your community. Your local Head Start agency will provide the required forms and answer questions about the program. The local agency will also help you find the Head Start Center closest to your home. To find a local Head Start or Early Head Start program to contact in your area, use the on-line national Head Start Program Search Tool.
Use the search tool to browse through the list of Head Start programs in your State. Then contact the listed programs closest to your community, even if they are some distance away. These are the main program offices which can tell you if there is a Head Start center closer to your area. Many of the organizations found in the Search Tool operate additional Head Start centers that are not listed, so there may be a program closer to your home than it appears.
If you need more help to find a Head Start or Early Head Start program in your area, call the Head Start Information and Publication Center at 1-866-763-6481.
The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education promotes health and safety in out-of-home child care settings throughout the nation. View updated child care regulations for every state, as well as updated information on health and safety in group settings.
Each State designates a specific agency to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Find out how to report child abuse and neglect in your State.
Last Reviewed: August 11, 2015