Why is it Important to Select the Right Child Care Program?
The process of finding quality child care is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. Recent research about how rapidly babies’ brains grow and develop underscores the importance of the first three years for getting your baby off to a good start. It is during these early years that the brain makes the connections necessary for learning and establishes a foundation for your child’s future.
During the preschool years, children learn social skills and values, organize ideas, explore, experiment, and begin to understand the world around them. Their environment needs to offer them opportunities to enhance related areas of development by offering space to play and help others, new experiences and new materials, and opportunities to involve themselves in everyday life experiences.
School age children, too, need constructive things to do in a safe and supportive program. A quality after school program supports learning, builds links to the community, and guides children in forming strong relationships with caring adults.
Let Us Help You Find a Quality Child Care Program!
Child Care Resource and Referral is a free service that links parents to child care providers and other agencies in the community by referring families to a database of all legally operating child care providers according to need and preference. We refer to over 160 child care centers and family child care homes in three counties in addition to Head Start, Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Community Child Care Resources, After-School Programs, Summer Camps, and Au-Pair Programs. Child Care Specialists help parents take the guesswork out of choosing child care by:
- Providing information on different types of care including Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten Programs (VPK) and customized referrals
- Educating parents about early learning and the components of quality care
- Reviewing information on state licensing requirements
- Helping parents find choices in care for children with special needs
- Informing eligible parents about the availability of child care subs
We do not guarantee the quality, availability, and affordability of referred programs, and we do not recommend one child care program over another. Guidance is provided by phone, in person, and in other ways, such as the internet, that are tailored to each individual family.
How Can I Reach a Child Care Specialist?
Child Care Resource & Referral services are available at no cost in the three counties by calling 772 220-1220 or toll free 877 220-1223 Monday – Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. A Resource & Referral Specialist will be able to help answer your questions.
Florida Relay Services
Florida Relay is the communications link for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf/blind, or speech impaired. Through the Florida Relay service, people who use specialized telephone equipment can communicate with people who use standard telephone equipment. To call Florida Relay, dial 711, or use one of the toll free numbers listed below:
1 800 955-8771 (TTY)
1 800 955-8770 (Voice)
1 800 955-1339 (ASCII)
1 877 955-8260 (VCO-Direct)
1 800 955-5334 (STS)
1 877 955-8773 (Spanish)
1 877 955-8707 (French Creole)
Florida Directory of Early Childhood Services
The Florida Directory of Early Childhood Services is a resource for:
- Families with children who have disabilities and/or special health care needs
- Early care and education providers needing information, consultation services and technical assistance in serving all children
For additional information about:
- Children’s Medical Services – Services for children with special needs.
- NACCRRA – the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies, is our nation’s leading voice for child care.
- Florida Abuse Program – 1-800-96-ABUSE The Department of Children & Families provides a full spectrum of services, from parenting classes and respite care to transportation and child care. The goal of the department is to keep children safe in their own families when possible.
- Department of Children and Families – This website contains child care information and child care licensing.
- Department of Children and Families – Public Provider Search Link
- IRS – Federal child care tax credit
- Florida Kidcare is our state’s children’s health insurance program for uninsured children under age 19. Eligibility for Florida KidCare is based on your child’s age and family income.
- Florida’s Office of Early Learning is dedicated to ensuring the accessibility, affordability and quality of early learning services for Florida’s children and families.
- Voluntary Prekindergarten and Readiness Rate Information