Choosing Quality Child Care

Steps to Choosing Safe & Healthy Child Care

You know your child better than anyone and you know how you would like your child to receive care. As the child's parent you are the most valuable person in this process. Here are a few steps to use as a guideline as you search for the best care:

  1. Look:
    Visit the child care programs you are considering. Observe the environment and the health & safety procedures followed by the providers. Notice the number of children that each adult is responsible to supervise.
  2. Check:
    Are children watched at all times? Are positive behavior guidance techniques used? Is the outdoor play area safe? is there a plan to follow if a child is injured, sick, or lost? Are nutritious foods served?
  3. Ask:
    Have the adults been trained to care for children? Is there always someone present who has current CPR and first-aid training? Are the adults continuing to receive training on caring for children? Have satisfactory criminal history background checks been performed? Has the program been inspected by the licensing agency within the last 12 months? Will you be given a copy of the program’s policies?

Information About the IdahoSTARS Program


IdahoSTARS "Quality Child Care Matters"


Child Care Checklist

The Child Care Checklist for Parents PDF (Eligiendo Cuidado Infantil de Calidad PDF ) is a resource that includes a description of different options for child care, questions to use when conducting a telephone interview with child care providers, and a rating system to use when visiting child care facilities.

Cover of the Idaho Stars Child Care Checklist in English.

How Your
Local CCRC Office Helps

Child Care Resource Center (CCRC) staff help parents learn about quality child care, what to look for when selecting child care, and why quality child care is important. CCRC offices keep an up-to-date database with information about child care providers and different child care programs.

Child Care Resources

Cover of Child Care Aware Quality Child Care brochure.

Give Your Child Something That Will Last a LifetimePDF

Step-by-step process for choosing high quality child care, including a detailed checklist of questions to use when evaluating child care.

NAEYC's What to Look For in a Child Care Program

Offers information and ideas to parents looking for infant, preschool, and/or afterschool child care.

Idaho Out-of-School Network

The Idaho Out-of-School Network offers a directory of out-of-school programs for youth K-12. The Network also provides resources and access to training to enrich programming and support out-of-school program staff’s ongoing professional development.
Afterschool and summer care for school age children is an important decision for families. When school is out families seek to find quality child care programing for their children. Families look for programs that focus on safety, offer opportunities to complete homework as well as time to play games, sports, interact with other children, and offer snacks and down time. Families seek the same quality child care programming for their school-age children, as for children who have not yet entered school.