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Resources for Parents and Child Care Providers

Finding & Providing Quality Child Care

All children deserve quality care, but finding and providing quality care can often be a challenge. The Office of Child Care and services like Child Care Aware are committed to helping parents and providers overcome common hurdles.

More Information for Parents

  • The Resource Guide: Child Care Information for Families document provides information for families and others seeking child care, including answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child care.
  • State child care assistance programs are funded through the Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF), and each State has its own eligibility guidelines. For specific information about the eligibility requirements and to find out if you qualify for child care assistance, contact the child care assistance agency. To find out how to reach the child care assistance office in your State, go to the Child Care and Development Fund Contact Directory on the Office of Child Care Web site at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/occ/resource/ccdf-grantee-state-and-territory-contacts.   
  • There are other ways to help parents pay for child care. Some child care programs, especially those run by nonprofit community agencies such as the YMCA or YWCA or religious groups, often offer scholarships or programs to help you pay for tuition. Other child care programs may consider the size of your household income, and other things such as medical expenses and housing costs, when figuring out how much to charge you. 
  • Child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agencies sometimes have information about child care programs that have special funding options or sliding fee scales based on your household income. Child Care Aware offers a Child Care Finder tool that provides contact information for all State and local CCR&R agencies at http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians/childcarefinder#section=searchbyzip.
  • CCSSSN understands you need assistance now, but you may be able to get some tax relief to help reduce the financial burden for your family. You may be able to lower your taxes and/or increase the amount of your refund. The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) provides useful information on Child Care Tax Strategies at http://www.nwlc.org/our-issues/child-care-%2526-early-learning/child-care/child-care-tax-strategies. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also provides information about the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit. For more information, contact the IRS at 800-829-1040 or visit the Web at http://www.irs.gov/.
  • The Resource Guide: Child Care Information for Families document provides information for families and others seeking child care, including answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child care.
  • Call your local child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency. This agency can provide information about how to find care that meets local regulations and requirements. It can also help you find certain types of care. Child Care Aware offers a Child Care Finder tool that provides contact information for all State and local CCR&R agencies at http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians/childcarefinder#section=searchbyzip.
  • Call the office that is responsible for child care regulations in your State. This office can let you know what regulations child care programs in your State must meet. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has State licensure regulation and contact information for all licensing agencies at http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm.
  • The Resource Guide: Child Care Information for Families document provides information for families and others seeking child care, including answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about child care.
  • Few States have regulations or laws about the age at which children are allowed to stay home alone or care for other children. However, the National SafeKids Campaign recommends that no child be left alone before the age of 12 and many states have guidelines to help you make the decision. Guidelines are often developed by child protective services and are administered at the county level. Call Child Welfare Information Gateway at 800-394-3366, and staff there will refer you to your local child protective services agency to learn about age guidelines in your area.
  • State child care licensing regulations help protect the health and safety of children in out-of-home care. Licensing helps prevent different forms of harm to children, which can include risks from the spread of disease, fire and other building safety hazards, and injury. Licensing also helps prevent developmental impairment from children’s lack of healthy relationships with adults, adequate supervision, and developmentally appropriate activities.

Licensing is a process administered by State governments that sets a baseline of requirements below which it is illegal for facilities to operate, unless they are legally exempt from licensing. States have regulations that include the requirements facilities must comply with and policies to support the enforcement of those regulations.

Child care licensing laws vary from State to State. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has State licensure regulation and contact information for all licensing agencies at http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm.

  • CCSSSN does not provide information about or post online information for specific providers.

Information about specific providers is available from your local child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency. This agency provides information to the public about how to find child care that meets local regulations and requirements. Providers can ask to be added to the CCR&R directory of providers so that parents who call the agency can receive information about their services. Child Care Aware offers a Child Care Finder tool that provides contact information for all State and local CCR&R agencies at http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians/childcarefinder#section=searchbyzip.

  • Licensing is a process administered by State governments that sets a baseline of requirements below which it is illegal for facilities to operate, unless they are legally exempt from licensing. States have regulations that include the requirements facilities must comply with and policies to support the enforcement of those regulations. However, child care licensing laws vary from State to State. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has State licensure regulation and contact information for all licensing agencies at http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm.
  • The Resource Guide: Child Care Information for Families document provides information for families and others seeking child care, including answers to some of the most frequently asked questions, about child care.

  • A useful organization for information about nannies, including employing nannies, is the International Nanny Association (INA). The INA is a nonprofit, educational association for nannies and those who educate, place, employ, and support professional in-home child care providers. For more information, call INA at 888-878-1477 or 713-526-2670 or visit the Web at http://www.nanny.org/index.php.

  • The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provides information about tax obligations for individuals and businesses. The following two IRS tax topics provide information about household employees and independent contractors.

    • Topic 756 – Employment Taxes for Household Employees provides information about employer tax obligations regarding household employees, including housekeepers, maids, babysitters, gardeners, and others who work in or around a private residence as employees. It is available at http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc756.html.

    • Topic 762 – Independent Contractor vs. Employee provides information about how to determine whether a worker is an independent contractor or an employee under common law. It is available at http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc762.html.

In addition, the Household Employer Tax Guide provides detailed information about tax regulations, credits, and applicable forms. This is available at http://www.irs.gov/publications/p926/ar02.html#en_US_publink100086722. Information about how to contact a local office of the IRS is available at http://www.irs.gov/localcontacts/index.html. For more information, call the IRS at 800-829-1040 or visit the Web at http://www.irs.gov/

 

More Information for Childcare Providers

  • The Resource Guide: Starting and Operating a Child Care Business document includes information about resources in your State and community, publications with startup information, and links to information on the Web. It also includes a list of national organizations with information about child care issues, including startup costs, budgeting, program development, regulations and standards, funding, and staffing.
  • The CCSSSN is not a funding organization. However, the Resource Guide: Starting and Operating a Child Care Business document includes information about resources in your State and community, publications with startup information, and links to other information on the Web. It also includes a list of national organizations with information about child care issues, including startup costs, budgeting, program development, regulations and standards, funding, and staffing.
  • The U.S. Department of Education 21st Community Learning Centers Program supports the creation of learning centers for students in low-performance and/or high-poverty school areas. You can call 800-872-5327, email 21stCCLC@ed.gov, or visit the Web at http://www2.ed.gov/programs/21stcclc/index.html for more information.
  • The Afterschool Alliance offers information about starting an afterschool program including start-up guides, funding and sustainability information, state-level resources and more in http://www.afterschoolalliance.org/startingaprogram.cfm.
  • The Afterschool Institute has a list of funding resources available to afterschool programs at http://www.afterschoolinstitute.org/TASI/getfunding/default.aspx and FindYouthInfo.gov a U.S. government Web site contains useful information about afterschool programs at http://findyouthinfo.gov/resources/Afterschool.
  • The State child care agency responsible for giving child care subsidies to low-income families may have funds to help increase the availability of quality after-school care. A child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency can provide information about financial help and funding opportunities for after-school programs in your community, and how to provide quality care. Some provide free equipment and information about provider support organizations, training organizations and opportunities, marketing practices, business practices, and more. Child Care Aware offers a Child Care Finder tool that provides contact information for all State and local CCR&R agencies at http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians/childcarefinder#section=searchbyzip.
  • The Resource Guide: Child Care Workforce Qualifications, Training, and Professional Development document attached has information designed to help you identify the education, training, and experience to qualify for a teaching or administrative role in a child care center or to operate a family child care program in your home. Information is also included to help you locate training and professional development opportunities in your community.
  • More information about the early childhood industry, working conditions, employment opportunities, training and advancement options, earnings, and other information is available in the Child Day Care Services publication at http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/naics4_624400.htm
  • The Resource Guide: Starting and Operating a Child Care Business document includes information about resources in your State and community, publications with startup information, and links to useful resources on the web. It also includes a list of national organizations with information about child care issues, including startup costs, budgeting, program development, regulations and standards, funding, and staffing. This information may be useful when considering calculating your fees and determining the type of insurance to obtain.
  • Child care costs and child care provider fees vary by community and by State, as well as by the type of care. For example, center-based care tends to cost more than family child care. The age of the child also has an impact on the cost.A child care resource and referral (CCR&R) agency can provide information about costs in a community. CCR&R agencies collect information about the supply and demand of child care in a local community; provide information about current rates that providers in a community charge, and link providers with training opportunities and other resources. Child Care Aware offers a Child Care Finder tool that provides contact information for all State and local CCR&R agencies at http://childcareaware.org/parents-and-guardians/childcarefinder#section=searchbyzip.
  • Liability insurance is a standard consideration for any business. It covers the center or family child care home when an injury occurs. Comprehensive general liability insurance covers expenses due to bodily injury, damage to property, medical emergencies, and legal costs. Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance on the provider’s home does not provide liability coverage for a family child care business. If the provider rents his/her home, the landlord may need to be listed on the family child care business liability policy. Contact an insurance provider for more information.

Insurance requirements vary across States. Some States require child care centers and/or family child care homes to have some form of insurance. Other States either require providers to carry insurance or to notify parents if they do not carry insurance. To find the specific insurance requirements in your State, contact your State child care licensing agency. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has State licensure regulation and contact information for all licensing agencies at http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm.

  • Licensing is a process administered by State governments that sets a baseline of requirements below which it is illegal for facilities to operate, unless the facility is legally exempt from licensing. States have regulations that include the requirements facilities must comply with and policies to support the enforcement of those regulations.
  • Child care licensing laws vary from State to State. To find out more about whether your facility needs to be licensed, contact your State child care licensing agency. The National Resource Center for Health and Safety in Child Care and Early Education has State licensure regulation and contact information for all licensing agencies at http://nrckids.org/STATES/states.htm.