Working parents are often faced with the difficult task of choosing child care while they are at work. There are several types of child care programs for parents to consider. Therefore, it is important that parents educate themselves about their child care options. Only a parent can decide what will best meet the needs of their child and their works schedule

To find a licensed child care center and access their state inspection report, please visit:

Child Care Centers

Families often choose a child care center to care for their children while at work. In New Jersey, any program that has six or more children under the age of thirteen is called a child care center. Child care centers in NJ must be licensed by the State of NJ Office of Licensing. There are basic requirements that the staff and center must meet. For regulations for licensed child care centers see the Manual of Requirements for Licensed Child Care Centers


Each center will have different views. Parents should visit and compare programs before putting their children in a center. Also, some centers are accredited. This means that the program has met high-quality standards. Some areas where they have met higher standards include staff to child ratios, curriculum environment and staff qualifications. To learn more about accreditation for child care centers visit:


National Association for the Education of Young Children

National Association of Child Care Professionals

National Early Childhood Program Accreditation.


Tips on Selecting a Child Care Center



Head Start and Early Head Start

Head Start is a free child care program for children ages 3 and 4. The Early Head Start program is a free child care program for infants and toddlers. The programs are for low-income families and pregnant women. The program is run by the US Department of Health and Human Services through The Administration of Children and Families



Family Child Care

Many parents choose a family child care (FCC) provider to care for their children. In New Jersey, FCC providers can care for up to five children in their home for a fee. Providers do not need a license but they can register with the state. Registered family child care providers must meet basic health and safety rules, and have an inspection. They must also offer an educational program and attend training. FCC providers take care of children of all ages, which include infants and toddlers. Some FCC providers are accredited. This means that they have met high-quality standards. Some areas where they have met higher standards include staff to child ratios, curriculum environment and staff qualifications. To learn more about FCC accreditation visit the National Association of Family Child Care Providers


Tips on Selecting a Family Child Care Provider



Afterschool Programs

Afterschool programs (Out-of-School-Time Care) are for children who are in grade school but need care before and/or after school. Children who are alone before and after school often feel lonely and scared. They may be at-risk for school failure and negative behavior. Only parents can decide the age when their child can be home alone. However, it is suggested that children 12 and under be watched by an adult.


Afterschool programs can be found in many kinds of settings. Some are in schools, recreation centers, community organizations and child care centers. In New Jersey, many afterschool programs must be licensed. There are also basic rules that the staff and center must meet. The State of NJ Office of Licensing inspects and licenses most afterschool programs. For exact rules see the Manual of Requirements for Licensed Child Care Centers.


Tips on selecting an Afterschool Program (Out-of-School-Time Program)



Summer Camp Programs

Many types of summer camp programs exist to meet the needs of children and families. Many child care centers offer summer camp programs. Local recreation departments operate day camp programs as Boys or Girls Scouts and 4-H clubs. Private and residential camps operate throughout the state. They are regulated by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. 


Tips on Selecting a  Summer Camping Program



Family, Friend & Neighbor Care (Approved Home Provider)

Some families use a relative of friend to care for their child. A health and safety check of the home is conducted by CCCC if CCCC’s is paying for child care. Parents should talk about the same issues with their relative or friend as they would with a center of family child care provider. Payment, discipline, safety, television and transportation are basic issues that should be talked about. There may also be certain tax requirements for both the family and caregiver.


Tips on Selecting Family, Friend & Neighbor



Nanny and Au Pair Services

Some families may wish to seek child care with nanny agencies and au pair programs. This kind of care is not licensed by the state. Many agencies can give referrals and assist parents in the interview process. It is a good idea for parents to have a written contract. It should list the legal responsibilities of both caregiver and parent.






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