Child Care Resources and Sites
Anyone with children knows that finding a balance between working and raising kids is always challenging – and that part of the balance usually includes some type of childcare. Luckily, there are many organizations and options that can help families ease the burden of finding safe, quality care for their children.
The Phoenix and Tucson areas have hundreds of childcare facilities, including nonprofit, church and other community childcare centers; private centers; company-sponsored childcare at work locations, plus nanny and au pair services and agencies; babysitters; in-home childcare; countless preschools; group homes; and other options. Waiting lists tend to be long at some centers, so it’s important to make visiting facilities, narrowing down options and getting on waiting lists a priority.
Parents can get information on individual childcare facilities – such as licensing and other information – from the Arizona Department of Health Services’ Division of Licensing Services – Office of Child Care Licensing. Call 602-364-2539 in Phoenix, 520-6228-6541 in Tucson, or 800-615-8555, for more information.
You’ll also find a Consumer Information page on the division website for parents and caregivers about what the agency does, help with childcare costs, how to enroll your child in a program and much more. Visit www.azdhs.gov/als/childcare/consumer.htm for more information.
Parents can also check for center or preschool accreditation by well-known organizations such as the National Association for the Education of Young Children (www.naeyc.org - see listing at right).
The following is a list of local and national resources for childcare information, plus tips for parents on how to choose the right childcare for their children:
Arizona Department of Economic Securitywww.azdes.gov 602-542-3598
The Arizona Department of Economic Security promotes the safety, well-being, and self sufficiency of children, adults, and families.
Association for Supportive Child Care3910 S. Rural Road, Suite E Tempe, 85282 480-829-0500 800-535-4599 www.asccaz.org
The Association for Supportive Child Care has provided a variety of services to child care providers, families and children since 1976 to enhance the quality of care for children in Arizona. Services include providing training and education to the childcare field; supporting quality childcare through accreditation programs; helping parents find childcare; and offering support and training to those who care for the children of family and friends, among many other services for parents and caregivers.
Child Care Aware800-424-2246; TTY: 866-278-9428 www.childcareaware.org
A program of the National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA; see listing below), Child Care Aware is a national initiative to “help parents find the best information on locating quality child care and child care resources in their community by connecting parents with the local agencies best equipped to serve their needs.”
Arizona Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R)602-244-2678 (metro Phoenix) 520-325-5778 (Tucson) 800-308-9000 www.azchildcare.org
Funded by Arizona’s Department of Economic Security – Child Care Administration, Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) is a statewide program that helps families find childcare via the Association for Supportive Child Care and Child & Family Resources, Inc. CCR&R also provides training and resources for childcare providers and information for the community. The CCR&R phone service is available Monday through Friday, 8:00am- 5:00 pm.
Child and Family Resources, Inc.700 W. Campbell, Suite 3 Phoenix, 85013 602-234-3941 2800 E. Broadway Boulevard Tucson, 85716 520-881-8940 www.childfamilyresources.org
Founded in 1970, Child & Family Resources, Inc. is a private, nonprofit, community-based organization whose mission is to “improve the well being of Arizona’s children and families through programs that strengthen child care, youth and families.” Agency programs include Child Care Resource & Referral; The Center for Adolescent Parents where teen mothers can earn their high school diploma or GED while receiving free, on-site child care; and KIDLINE (school age children can call a free hotline for information and other in-home programs that teach parents better coping skills). Headquartered in Tucson, the agency provides services in Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, La Paz, Mohave, Pima, Santa Cruz, Graham, Maricopa and Yuma counties.
National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (NACCRRA)3101 Wilson Blvd., Suite 350 Arlington, VA 22201 703-341-4100 www.naccrra.org
NACCRRA is a national network of more than 800 childcare resource and referral centers (CCR&Rs) to ensure that “families in every community have access to high-quality, affordable childcare.”
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)1313 L St. N.W., Suite 500 Washington, D.C. 20005 800-424-2460 www.naeyc.org
NAEYC is focused on “the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8,” including improving professional practice and working conditions in early childhood education; supporting early childhood programs by working to achieve a high-quality system of early childhood education; and building an organization of groups and individuals who are committed to promoting excellence in early childhood education for all young children.”
National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC)5202 Pinemont Dr. Salt Lake City, UT 84123 800-359-3817 http://nafcc.net/
NACCRRA is a national organization “dedicated to strengthening the profession of family child care by promoting high quality, professional early care and education and strengthening communities where providers live and work.”
Parent Tips for Choosing Childcare
- Once you’ve narrowed down a list of providers, get details about their license to provide care. Each childcare facility’s regulatory history of inspections and reports is available online.
- Visit the facilities. Go when children are in care so you can see how the caregiver treats children, what kinds of activities are available, and how problems are handled. See how well the caregiver provides a safe and healthy environment. Once you place your child in care, stay involved – and keep asking questions.
- Look carefully at home or apartments that have a pool or are near lakes, creeks, or other bodies of water. The caregiver can explain how she ensures the safety of children in and around these bodies of water.
- Discuss any concerns with the caregiver. Respect the caregiver’s time. Her main responsibility is working with the children. Don’t be offended if the caregiver can’t spend much time talking with you when you drop off or pick up your child. If you need more time to talk about your child, set up a conference.
- It’s normal for children to have some fears and misgivings about starting childcare outside the home. Children need time to get used to new situations. Prepare your child for the change as far in advance as possible. Discuss his or her concerns. It is important to let the caregiver know about things at home that may affect how your child is doing while in care.
- Talk to your child about his or her experiences in care. Watch for a time each day when your child is quiet and feeling secure and protected. Then gently ask questions about how he is doing. Share his excitement about new friends, skills, and abilities. Listen to his concerns. Give him a chance to boast about his achievements.