There are several resources and ways to FIND a provider, but have you considered what to LOOK for after you have found one? Here is some information on how to select a QUALITY child care provider. We encourage you to call us at 1-800-371-2109, as we can provide you with a referral based on your specific needs, however, this page is a great place to start.
COMPASS is a great tool for locating child care based on your needs. With a comprehensive search function, you can enter your requirements based on levels of care and location. Simply go to the FindChildCare.pa.gov website to begin your search now!
Click here to access the Department of Human Services’ website. The site includes requirements, regulations and helpful information for choosing the child care provider that is right for you.
DHS provides a list of things you should look for when selecting child care.
A quality early learning program – in child care, Head Start, or preschool – will help prepare your child for success in school and in life.
Here are things to look for when choosing your child’s early learning program:
- Is this person or program a safe place for children? Does it meet the necessary regulations? Have there been any complaints against this program? Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services (DHS) regulates child care programs (family child care homes, group child care homes and child care centers) to make sure they meet minimum health and safety standards. Programs are required to post their certificate of registration or compliance, so if you don’t see it, ask about it.
- Does the child care or Head Start program participate in Keystone STARS? Programs in Keystone STARS earn a STAR 1 up to a STAR 4 rating by meeting quality standards. Count the Stars – the more STARS, the higher the quality.
- Do teachers have training in early childhood education? Teachers in quality programs have education in child development, such as a Child Development Associate (CDA), Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree.
- Does the program provide activities appropriate for your child’s age and development? Teachers should observe your child’s skill level and provide activities that will help your child grow.
- Does the program keep families involved in their child’s progress? Quality programs will talk with you about how your child is learning and suggest ways you can help your child learn at home.
- Are the children happy and involved? Learning should be fun!
For more information about licensing or compliance, you can contact the Southeast Regional Headquarters of the Department of Human Services at 1-800-346-2929 or contact the CCIS of Bucks County at 1-800-371-2109.