Choosing child care is one of the most important decisions parents make, and figuring out how to pay for it is a big factor. In this 2021 stimulus relief proposal, the new Biden administration has pledged to help providers and families pay for child care to stabilize the child care crisis. Although this relief plan will not solve all the issues, it will stabilize the system through its comprehensive goals to support families with limited income and providers to keep their doors open.
WIC Can Help connect families with child care programs that provide safe and affordable care.
What Local Agencies Can Do:
- Become familiar with the information and resources on this page.
- Share this information with parents year-round: as part of routine visits,
via print flyers, or in other creative ways.
CHOOSING QUALITY CHILD CARE
- Quality Inclusive Child Care Checklist for parents (UCSF California Child Care Health Program)
- Choosing Quality Child Care webpage (Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers & Families)
- NEW! Keys to Quality Child Care Checklist from the Child Care Resource Center
- High Quality Child Care Booklet (also in Spanish & Russian from Child Action, Inc.)
- Steps for Selecting Care (Child Action, Inc.)
- NEW! Check each facility for licensing status and history of inspections and citations, with the California Department of Social Services.
FINDING CHILD CARE
- Find Child Care in California: enter zip code or use interactive map (click on county) or call (800) 543-7793 (Consumer Education Line for parents) to find local resource & referral (R&R) agency
PAYING FOR CHILD CARE
- NEW! How to know if you qualify for childcare assistance and how to enroll.
- Child Care Assistance: subsidized child care services to eligible families, including Alternative Payment, CalWORKs, and Child Protective Services. (Children’s Home Society)
- Family, Friend & Neighbor Care: resources for parents and caregivers on temperament, healthy eating, discipline, play, and more. (Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers & Families)
- School Readiness Interactive Birth to 3: videos and other online tools to help parents and caregivers encourage young children’s early learning. (Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers & Families)
Parents seeking child care should interview several providers and keep these five simple ideas in mind:
- LISTEN to your instincts. If you are comfortable in a facility, chances are your child will be too.
- COUNT the number of children to be sure there are enough adults present. Providers who believe in quality will urge you to do so.
- LOOK AROUND and compare programs, because they know that finding the right provider is important to you and to them.
- ASK QUESTIONS about the day to day care of your child and the provider’s licensing history.
- BE INFORMED about the caregiver and the current licensing regulations for child care.