Child Care Referrals
The Child Care Network happily provides parents with referrals to child care providers.
To obtain information about child care referrals, please contact:
The child care referrals provided to you are not recommendations. The Child Care Network does not investigate, inspect, regulate or monitor any of the child care centers or family child care homes included in our database of state regulated providers. You have the right to choose, investigate and monitor the child care arrangement that best meets the needs of your family.
Any and all Information received or discussed as part of your child care referral will be handled in a professional manner, is considered confidential and will not be shared.
Income Eligibility for Child Care Assistance Increase on August 1st, 2022
As of October 1st, 2023, the income eligibility guidelines for child care assistance have increased significantly in New York State. If you have previously applied and were not approved, you could qualify today.
Contact the child care unit of your local Department of Social Services for more information.
Warren County: 518-761-6327
Washington County: 518-746-2300, EXT 3426
Hamilton County: 518-648-6131
Saratoga County: 518-714-4004
Helpful Information and Resources on Related Child Care Topics
Quality Child Care Indicators
- Adult to Child Ratio: How many children are in the care of each adult? The fewer children for each adult, the more attention for your child. The younger the child, the more important the adult-to-child ratio is. For example, in a center program, infants need at least one adult per 4 infants (1:4) and four-year-olds generally do well with one adult for 8 children (1:8).
- Group Size: How many children are in the group? The smaller the group size, the better for your child; smaller group size is likely to be a calmer, safer environment for young children, in general.
- Caregiver Qualifications and Training: What type of training and education have they experienced? Caregivers with degrees and/or special training to work with young children will be better prepared to help your child learn. Ask caregivers what types of trainings they participate in to maintain and improve their skills.
- Staff Turnover: How long has the staff at the center or the family child care home been employed at the child care program? Children benefit greatly when caregivers stay with the same children for at least a year. Learning and development can be positively influenced when children can create meaningful relationships and form attachment relationships to their caregivers over time.
- Parent Involvement: How does the caregiver promote communication with parents? Is parent input and involvement valued by the caregiver? Forming positive relationships between the caregiver and the parent is essential to quality care. A parent needs to feel free to always visit the child care program and to know what happens in the day-to-day happenings in the life of his/her child.
- Health and Safety: An important component of a quality environment for children is one that is safe for exploration, social interactions, and freedom of movement. Supervision of children at all times is the primary way to promote overall health and safety. Additionally, does the provider know how to reach the parents in an emergency? Are rooms well lit and ventilated? Do the adults know first aid and CPR? Are smoke detectors evident? Child care regulations may be obtained online. Note: While state regulated programs meet basic health and safety standards, they do not necessarily meet other quality standards as outlined above; quality standards go beyond state licensing standards.
- Accreditation: Is the child care provider accredited by a national organization? Caregivers that are accredited have met voluntary standards for child care that are higher than licensing requirements. The National Association of the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) are the two largest organizations that accredit child care programs.
Steps in Choosing Quality Child Care
One of the important steps in the choosing the best child care option is to review a program’s licensing records, inquiring about the regulatory and complaint history to make sure the child care program is in good standing with the NYS Office of Children and Family Services (NYSOCFS) and that there are no unresolved regulatory violations. To contact your local regional office, call 1-800-732-5207 or visit the website at www.ocfs.state.ny.us.
- Steps in Choosing Quality Child Care
- Types of Legal Child Care
- Parent’s Child Care Checklist
- Finding Creative Solutions TIPSHEET
- Child Care Financial Assistance Options
- Organizations That Promote Healthy Families Directory
- Average Child Care Costs 2022
If you have a complaint about a child care program, please call the New York State Child Care Complaint Line at 1-800-732-5207.
If you have any concerns and/or comments about the services that you have received from The Child Care Network, we would like to hear from you. Please contact our Executive Director, Lynn Sickles at 518-798-7972, extension 204, or [email protected].
Child Care Referral Follow Up
We would like to know about the results of your child care search. Within four to six weeks after the referral session, our referral specialist will contact the family to learn about their experience looking for child care. This feedback helps us better understand the child care needs of our community, and ways to improve our services.
Parenting and Child Development Resources
For parenting and child development information our sister child care resource and referral agency- Brightside Up, has additional resources on their website.
Pages of Brightside Up’s website that might be particularly useful include:
Get In Touch
To obtain additional information about services for parents, please contact
Individuals with special needs who may want information in an alternate accessible format are encouraged to call the office at 518-798-7972 or email us at [email protected]. Arrangements can be made for TTY calls and translation services.
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