What Is Quality Child Care?

Quality child care gives children a boost in the first and most important years of their development, including:

  • Enhanced brain development
  • Improved early literacy
  • Increased cognitive and social skills
  • Higher high school graduation rates

Carefully choosing which child care provider cares for your child each day can have a positive effect on your child’s developing mind for their whole life!

Types of Child Care

There are three main types of child care providers that have different requirements:

Offers both part-day and full-day child care in a facility for infant to school-age children. Centers have more staff with higher levels of education, but typically have higher children-to-adult ratios. Child care centers are usually more expensive than other care.


  • Staff has higher education
  • Centers follow stricter regulations
  • Well developed learning environment with multiple teachers


  • Higher children-to-staff ratio means less individual observation time
  • Hours of operation are less flexible

Offers both part-day and full-day child care in the provider’s home for infants to school-age children. They give care in the home of the providers and typically have fixed children-to-adult ratios. Homes usually have one provider and one assistant with varying education levels. Homes usually are more affordable with greater flexibility of care hours for parents with unstable schedules.


  • More personalized care per child
  • Flexible hours of operation
  • Close to parents’ homes
  • Supports local business


  • Less staff and typically lower education levels

Caregivers chosen by the parent must obtain a background check through the Trustline Program and may only care for the children of one family in addition to their own. Care takes place in the caretaker’s home, giving low ratios and high individual attention. This is usually the most affordable form of care and the most flexible hours.


  • Most affordable option
  • Highly personalized child care
  • Parent has a close relationship with the caregiver


  • No licensing requirements (no baseline of education or training)
  • No guarantee of high quality early education

What Does Quality Child Care Look Like?

Below is a list of programs that certify high-quality child care and early education:

  • Quality Preschool Initiative (QPI)
  • Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)
  • Child Development training or education
  • Accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

A child care facility with high scores of one or more of these awards is proven to provide high-quality child care!

How To Choose a High-Quality Child Care Provider

There are lots of child care options available. Ask to tour the home or facility of a child care provider when you look for a new child care. Here are five things you can do on your tour to ensure your child will receive the best possible care:

How To Choose Quality Child Care