Quality Child Care Matters


Where can I find updates on the COVID-19?

Click here to get the latest local information from Contra Costa Health Services on COVID-19.

Additional information and resources can also be found at First 5 Contra Costa.

What is quality child care?

Quality child care means a program is a safe, healthy, caring and educational place for young children to learn and grow. It supports all areas of a child’s development and wellbeing.

Why does quality child care matter?
  • Kids in quality care do better later on, in school and in life.
  • Quality care supports their physical, social, emotional and mental growth.
  • As a parent, it lowers your stress, because you know your child is well-cared for.
What are signs of quality to look for?

Teacher-Child Interactions
Providers that talk, play, read, laugh and interact positively with the kids in their care. Providers develop children’s critical thinking skills, language, and curiosity.

Ratio and Group Size
Small group sizes and a small number of kids to every adult.

Learning Activities
A mix of creative, fun and developmentally appropriate educational activities that are right for a child’s age, meet their individual needs and help them learn new skills.

Caring and knowledgeable staff who have a lot of training and rarely quit. Providers have taken classes or earned degrees in Early Childhood Education.

Provides a rich learning environment with varied materials, activities and routines. Areas are healthy, clean and safe.

Program (or Curriculum)
Providers use a curriculum to meet learning needs and may hold parent-teacher conferences.

Child Health & Development
Providers make sure children receive health screenings and that children are developing on track.

How do I find quality care?

It can be hard to find and choose the best care for your child. There are different options for licensed child care programs for children ages 5 and under, including:

  • Child care centers
  • Home-based family child care programs
  • Preschool programs

There are benefits to all of these different types of care, but the for all of them are the same.

For a list of quality-rated programs in Contra Costa County, click here.

The following resources are available to help you choose the best care for your child and family, and to find a quality program:

Contra Costa County’s child care resource and referral agency. They offer free child care referrals, online resources and tip sheets to help families find and choose care, financial assistance for low-income working families and more.
CALL: (925) 676-5442

Quality Matters Rated Programs
List of quality-rated child care programs in Contra Costa County.