Choosing a Family Child Care Home

Mom Reading with Infant

All family child care homes are expected to comply with Chapter 59 Family Child Care Homes of the County Code and all pertinent zoning regulations.

5 Steps to Choosing a Family Child Care Home

  1. Visit Several Providers
    Make an appointment so that you can spend some time there. Bring your child along so that he/she and the provider may become acquainted.
  2. Observe the Provider
    This person will be spending a great deal of time with your child so it is important to watch the way in which the provider relates to children. Is the provider relaxed? Does the provider listen when children talk to him/her? Does he/she seem well organized?
  3. Observe the Children
    Do the children appear to be involved in play? Do they seem happy and comfortable? Are they moving about freely with one another? Does this look like a group in which your child will feel comfortable?
  4. Observe the Space in the Home
    Is there safe and spacious outdoor space? Are the equipment and toys well organized and placed where children have access to them? Is there a special place for napping? Does the home meet your standards of cleanliness?
  5. Ask about Routines
    Does the day care provider have a good idea of what he/she will do with the children during the day? Does he/she have routines which include rest, meals, snacks, active and quiet play, trips? Is TV used sparingly, if at all?

Clear Agreements Between Parents and Provider Are Important

  • Discuss fee and payment date
  • Establish arrival and departure time for your child
  • Ask about policy on overtime, vacations and substitute when provider is unable to care for your child
  • Determine who will provide food, diapers, toys, etc.
  • Obtain and complete all forms for your child. Forms include:
    • Parent-provider agreement
    • Child’s medical
    • Emergency medical authorization
    • Provider will keep these records on file.

Use our helpful guide to licensed childcare providers in Arlington.

If you have questions or concerns about a family child care home, please call:

Department of Human Services
Child and Family Services Division
Child Care Licensing Office
Phone (703) 228-1685