Finding good childcare can be a challenge

Choosing a childcare provider can be daunting. It’s a big change for a family – and a costly one. Increasing child care rates and a shortage of providers have made finding quality care difficult.

When you are looking for someone to take care of something as precious as children, trust is a must. Parents and guardians need to be confident in the safety and happiness of their children at work.

The start of childcare is also a milestone for the little ones! For many, a day care center is one of the first places where they play with other children, practice social skills and learn. It is all the more important to find a good provider.

Because care is in high demand, it can be difficult for families to find a provider they trust. BBB received nearly 160,000 inquiries about childcare providers in 2022, showing that parents strive to make an informed decision.

To make your search a bit easier, parents and guardians can view trusted, vetted child care providers in their area on BBB advises parents and guardians when looking for child care to take their time to find the best care for their needs.

Some additional tips:

Check accreditation. At, you can view business profiles of childcare providers in your area to see reviews, complaints, or if a provider is accredited. BBB accredited companies are verified, trusted care providers.

Ask for recommendations from friends and family. When it comes to something as personal as childcare, it can be comforting to have a referral from someone you know and trust. You can check to see if vendors you recommend are accredited.

Determine what type of care you need: full-time or part-time, at home or in a facility. Consider factors such as location in relation to your home and work, working hours, costs, and educational opportunities for your children.

Know your budget. Your childcare budget will likely influence your decision. Ask about fees, deposits, and payment deadlines to ensure you have the full financial picture.

Tour facilities or meet vendors in advance. During your stay, make sure the facility or home is clean, well-maintained, and safe. Ask for identity cards, staff-to-child ratio, and how children are grouped (by age, etc.). If possible, check if your child can spend some time at daycare or at home before you enroll.

Check security procedures. It is good to know what safety and health protocols are in place and how to deal with an accident. What happens if your child is injured or gets sick? Will you be called or notified before picking up your child?

Ask about the daily routine. What is the balance between structured and unstructured activities? How are children napped and how often are they checked while they sleep? What if your child can’t sleep?

Check licenses and insurance. Ask if the facility is state or local licensed and if it has adequate liability insurance.

Get ratings from parents. If possible, talk to other parents who use the same provider to discuss their experiences.

Get the jump on it. Start your search well before you need the service. Childcare is in high demand and it is not uncommon for providers to have waiting lists. Save yourself the stress and plan some buffer time in your search.

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