Make appointments to visit childcare options you are considering and ask:
- What training do staff members have in child development?
- Do caregivers speak to the children, even babies? Do they sing and read to the children?
- Do they answer children’s questions patiently? Do they ask children questions?
- Are toys and materials well organized so that children can choose what interests them?
- Are caregivers able to accommodate the special needs of children?
- Do caregivers respect the language, culture, and values of families in the program?
- What is the caregiver’s approach to discipline? Weaning? Toilet training? Feeding? Do the caregiver’s beliefs match your own?
- Does the caregiver handle conflicts without losing patience, shaming a child, or frequently displaying anger?
- Does the caregiver seem to enjoy children?
- Are you welcome to drop in at any time?
- Would your child feel good about coming here? Would you feel good about leaving your child here?
- Is the environment sanitary and safe?
- Is the setting appealing with comfortable lighting and an acceptable noise level?
The mission of the Early Stars program is to increase the quality of child care in Fresno County. Early Stars uses an easy-to-understand star rating system. Child care providers can achieve as high as five stars. Early Stars assesses them and provides a star rating based on quality elements that include the following:
- Ratios and group size
More teachers and smaller group sizes help staff spend more quality, engaged time with individual children.
- Learning activities
Daily learning activities support each child’s interests, growth and development, as well as culture and home language.
The setting allows children to learn and develop to their fullest potential. This includes high interest activities, safety, and staff interactions with children in a safe and healthy environment.
- Health & child development
A child’s overall wellbeing is supported. This includes his or her physical growth, as well as ability to learn and get along with others.
- Staff training & education
Directors and teachers are trained in child development and early learning. Some have college units or college degrees.
Make a Call
Begin your search by calling local experts like Central Valley Children Services Network and the Early Stars program. Ask the following:
- What child care providers in my area are Early Stars rated or nationally accredited?
- Does my family qualify for any child care financial assistance programs?
- How can I get complaint and licensing violation information about a program?
Promote Quality Anywhere
Quality child care can take place anywhere including in the homes of our family, friends and neighbors. Encourage the following:
- Talking, reading and singing
- Reduce screen time and engage in outdoor play
- Positive child-adult interactions
- First Aid and CPR training
Trust Your Instinct
Your child care setting should be a place where both you and your child feel safe and welcomed. If you or your child feel uncomfortable, trust your instinct and seek help to find a second option.