Choosing the Right Child Care for Your Child
Finding the right child care for your child can be an overwhelming task, especially if you don’t know what to look for. Luckily, there are many resources available for parents and caregivers that can help you make the decision.
- Research child care providers. Call 4-C at 502-636-1358 to speak to a referral specialist, or search online at www.4cforkids.org for a list of regulated child care providers in your area. Or, call Metro United Way’s help line at 2-1-1 for recommendations.
- Choose at least three to visit. Call to schedule a time to visit when children are awake and active in the classroom.
- During your visit LOOK, LISTEN, and ASK.
- Look through a child’s eyes. Does it look like a fun place to be?
- Are there interesting materials on the shelves? Do they have a variety of books?
- Do you see teachers engaged with children? Are they down on the child’s level?
- Do you see children’s artwork displayed on the walls? Do you see pictures of them and their families?
- How many children to each teacher are there? A small number of children to each teacher is preferred.
- Is the environment clean? Does it smell pleasant?
- Do you hear laughter or children happily engaged in play?
- What tone do teachers take with the children? Are the teachers speaking in a calm and respectful manner?
- What are the qualifications of the director and teachers? How long has the teacher worked in child care?
- What does a typical lunch meal consist of? What kinds of snacks are served?
- Do they have an outdoor play space? How often do they go outside to play?
- Ask yourself, do you feel welcome? Do you feel listened to?
- Do they participate in Kentucky All STARS? What is their Kentucky All STAR rating?
Kentucky All STARS is Kentucky’s early care and education quality rating and improvement system. Child care providers are rated on a five-star scale. STARS level one is obtained by meeting regulatory requirements.
For more information on STARS and information that can help you find quality child care, visit www.kentuckypartnership.org and click on “families.”