First 5 Fresno County | Quality Care & Education

Quality Care & Education

First 5 Fresno County > Quality Care & Education

Children thrive when they are safe, healthy and learning.

A child’s brain is shaped by their experiences starting at birth. By kindergarten, 90% of the brain has already developed. What your child sees, hears and feels in their child care setting has a lasting impact on their success in school and life. Quality child care settings nurture your child’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual growth

Quality Care Standards

  • Health, safety and good hygiene
  • Good nutrition
  • Staff who are sensitive and responsive to children
  • Staff with higher education and ongoing training
  • Small group size and low number of children per adult
  • Opportunities for active play—especially outdoors
  • Opportunities for quiet play and rest
  • Opportunities for developing motor, social, language and cognitive skills through play
  • Positive interactions with adults
  • Practices that are age appropriate and support positive interaction amongst children
  • Staff help children resolve conflict by identifying feelings, describing problems and trying alternative solutions
  • Participation of, support for and communication with parents
  • Respect for diversity and difference, gender equality and inclusion of children with disabilities
  • Daily learning activities support each child’s interests, growth and development, as well as culture and home language

Have general question? A question about your child’s development? Need to find care for your child?
Looking for a link to services?

Call Help Me Grow Fresno County at 1-866-543-7464
or visit their website

Ask Questions

Before choosing a child care provider, 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?

Look for Stars

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.
  • Environment
    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

Ask for advice from people you trust; friends, family, coworkers.

Be aware of your child’s attitude after school or child care and ask them if they like it. 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.

Investing in high quality child care is key to our community’s health and wellbeing.

When we invest in teachers and caregivers the quality of child care is raised for all children. First 5 Fresno County partners with Fresno County Early Stars to provide training and coaching to child care professionals pursuing quality improvement.

Got a Question?

Contact us today!