STEPS TO FINDING GOOD CHILD CARE 1. Compile a list of child care centers that you think may work for your child(ren).  The easiest way to do this is to use Childcare Central, of course!!

2. Call the centers and get some basic information.  Find out if they have any openings, what age of children they serve, how much they cost, what their hours are, and any other critical information. (You may be able to find some of this information on Childcare Central as well.)

3. Eliminate any child care centers that won't work for you (aren't open the hours you need them, etc.)

4. Call back the 5-10 centers/home daycares you think would likely best suit your needs and arrange a time to visit.

5. If possible, don't bring your child along on the first visit so you can ask questions, be observant, and focus on finding out what you need to know. (See the article "Characteristics of good child care" to get a list of things you should look for).

6. Ask for the center's policy book or parent handbook, brochures, or any additional written information they have.  Thank them for their time.

7. Review the information from the centers you visited and narrow down your list to the top 3-5.

8. Visit these centers again, but this time bring your child along and see which one he/she seems to feel most comfortable at.

9. Ask any additional questions you have.

10. Call the agency in your state that licenses daycares and make sure that the child care arrangements you are favoring are appropriately licensed and don't have any complaints or pending investigations against them.

11. Call the daycare you like the best and register your child!  *(Instead of calling, you could go to the daycare to register your child.  If you show up unannounced, you can see how the daycare is run when they aren't expecting a prospective parent.  If you like what you see, you can then register your child.)

12. Continue to monitor the care arrangement you have chosen and make sure it continues to provide your child quality care