Choosing Quality Childcare

Finding childcare that meets your family’s needs shouldn’t be a full-time job. Here’s a guide to help you get started.

Types of Childcare

  • In-home care provided by a parent, grandparent, relative, or other caretaker.
  • A licensed family childcare home provides care in a home with a maximum of five preschool-aged children in care at one time. Find family childcare homes near home or work.
  • A licensed childcare center that meets certain state standards, including teacher-to-child ratios. Find licensed childcare centers near home or work.
  • Early Head Start and Head Start, which provides a free high-quality experience for children ages 8 weeks old to age 4 who meet the federal poverty guidelines. Children & Families First administers these programs. Get details here. You may also call (336) 369-5097 or 1-800-289-5098 to speak with a Child Care Parent Counselor at Children & Families First from 8 AM – 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
  • NC Pre-K helps 4-year-olds who meet eligibility criteria get ready for kindergarten at no cost to their families. Learn more about NC Pre-K and how to apply for the 2023-2024 academic year.
Choosing Quality Childcare
How to Choose
  • Get educated. Quality matters when it comes to early childhood experiences. Learn what to look for in a program and the 10 standards for early childhood programs before starting your search.
  • Learn about your options. Talking with other parents about childcare options is a good start. To find childcare that meets your specific needs and financial situation, contact a Child Care Parent Counselor at (336) 369-5097 or 1-800-289-5098 from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
  • Visit and interview potential providers. Once you have a list of options, contact the providers to schedule a visit. Save time and get the information you need by printing and using these checklists:
  • Paying for childcare. Your child may qualify for a scholarship or other assistance may be available to you. Learn more by calling a Child Care Parent Counselor at (336) 369-5097 or 1-800-289-5098 from 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.
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