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Information for Families

5 steps to finding child care start early connect with Child Care Aware visit providers ask questions make a choice stay involved

Finding quality child care is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child and your family. The Child Care Aware of Washington Family Center can help.

Call 1-800-446-1114  or

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Learn more about why quality child care matters in our Early Achievers Video for Parents.

Steps to Finding Quality Child Care

1. Start early and think about your family’s needs and values
Give yourself as much time as possible to find child care. Think about your child's needs. What is most important to you about a child care setting?
2. Connect with Child Care Aware's Family Center at 1-800-446-1114
The experts at our Family Center can help you understand different types of child care and what to consider when trying to find a program suitable for your family. We can provide referrals, information about financial assistance and more.
3. Call, visit and ask questions
When you connect with potential child care providers, make sure to ask the basics (openings, hours, fees) as well as about the provider's commitment to high quality. Is this program in Early Achievers? If so you can be confident this provider is dedicated to ensuring the highest quality care. When you visit, make sure you spend enough time to imagine your child in this environment, and use this CHECKLIST to help measure the program's quality. And don't forget to ask for and check references.
4. Stay involved
Once your child(ren) are enrolled, make sure to get, and stay, involved. Get to know your child's teacher well and check-in regularly. Get to know other families and take part in any activities. And don't forget to show your appreciation to all of the people who care for your child.

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