Quality child care programs make a world of difference. As a child care professional, you have the chance to positively impact the children and families you serve. You’re also in a place to help your local workforce, schools and community.

Your care allows parents to get to work, and this allows businesses to operate. You nurture children’s emotional, social, physical and cognitive health and development. Your program helps make sure children are ready to start kindergarten and be successful in school and in life. In addition, you partner with parents, allowing them to better support their children’s development and education.

It is impossible to underestimate the importance of what you do every day. Operating the kind of child care program that makes a difference is not easy – but there is help available. Read through this section to learn more about running a quality child care program.

In this section you will find:

Indoor Child Care Environment and Outdoor Child Care Environment pages give you insight on what you’ll need to consider when creating your child care environments. From the design of your space to safety issues on the playground, you’ll have plenty to think about for creating your ideal setting.

Curriculum is an introduction to choosing an approach to support children’s learning and skills. You’ll learn what areas of child development your curriculum should take into account. We also offer you some resources to get you thinking about choosing a curriculum for your program.

Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) will get you thinking about how your program will respond to the needs of each child. Learn what DAP actually is and what it looks like when you use it to plan activities and learning experiences.

Nutrition is a guide to offering healthy meals and snacks in your program.

Family Engagement provides you with some ideas on how to get families involved in your program and why this is important.

Your local Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R) agency can help you find local resources and supports. CCR&Rs often provide training and technical assistance for child care providers. Find your local CCR&R with a zip code search on our CCR&R Search page.