As a parent in Central New York, finding the right daycare for your child is a top priority. To ensure that your child is receiving quality care, it's important to understand the requirements for becoming a provider and to use resources that provide up-to-date information on legal child care programs in the area. The best place to start is your county's Child Care Resource and Referral Agency (CCRR). CCRR agencies provide information on all types of child care programs in the area, including background checks and quality improvement programs.
You may also consider other resources such as newspapers, bulletin boards, friends and neighbors. However, it's important to make sure that the provider has been approved by the MSDE Office of Child Care to ensure that your child is receiving regulated daycare. The state of New York also provides assistance, resources and information to support veterans and their families. Maryland EXCELS offers an online tool to help you find quality child care centers, child care programs for school-age children, family child care homes, and public pre-K centers. Once you have identified what you are looking for from a child care provider, it's time to contact them and discuss your needs. All programs are regulated by the OCFS, except for day care centers based in New York City which are regulated by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The Maryland Family Network helps young children in Maryland and their families by providing family support and child care resource centers. In addition to CCRR agencies, there are other resources available that can provide more information about local services such as health care and child welfare. Maryland EXCELS is the state's quality rating and improvement system that rates child care and early education based on nationally recognized quality standards and best practices. Resources are also available for children under the care of a family member, member of their tribe or clan, godparents, stepparents, or any adult who has a kinship relationship with a child. If you believe that a particular child care program is in violation of state laws or regulations on child care licensing, you can file an official complaint against that program. Choosing a daycare center is an important decision as it lays the foundation for healthy growth and development.
Ratings from Maryland EXCELS can help families choose quality care and can help providers improve and communicate their quality.