Resources for Parents

View quick links to child care resources for parents and guardians:Parents with Toddler

Finding the right child care setting for your child

The Office of Child Care partners with Child Care Aware® of America to provide resources and information to parents with children in child care or who are looking for care for their children. The Child Care Aware® of America parent resource site offers information about child care settings, early learning, and finding a provider for your family.

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Finding help to pay for child care

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.

See a list of CCDF Grantee State and Territory Contacts

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 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.

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Finding your local Head Start program and checking to see if you qualify for services

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.

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Health and safety regulations for child care programs in your State

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.

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Reporting child abuse and neglect

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.

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Last Reviewed: February 11, 2016