Finding the Right Child Care Provider for Your Child

by Marcia Jacobs, Communications and Marketing Manager, Child Care Aware of Washington

Selecting a child care provider is one of a parent’s most important decisions. Your child may spend many hours with the provider you choose, and you want that playing and learning time to be well-spent.  

All parents look for a provider who can offer basic health, safety and quality, but parents of children with special needs have additional considerations. The provider needs to be comfortable caring for the child in a unique set of circumstances and may need specialized training and materials. The child needs quality care but also a provider who can make the days fun!

How do you start your search?

Child Care Aware of Washington (CCA of WA) is a nonprofit organization that has been helping families find quality, licensed child care for almost 30 years. The referral services are free to families, and licensed providers are included in the database for free. Because providers don’t pay to advertise, the service is fair and not biased. Families can search online or contact a representative at the Family Center for help.

Families of children with special needs can call the CCA of WA Family Center, (1-800-446-1114) to find a child-care provider. The representatives at the Family Center will listen to what your child needs and then look through the database of Washington’s licensed child care providers based upon the following:

  • Behavior Supervision/Supports
  • Communication Supports
  • Diapering/Toileting Assistance
  • Eating Assistance
  • Health Monitoring
  • Mobility Assistance
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Nursing Care
  • Physical Therapy
  • Respiratory Supports
  • Sensory Integration
  • Specialized Equipment
  • Vision Supports

Representatives from the Family Center also may be able to help families find financial help, if they qualify.

Child care providers may also be eligible for an increased subsidy for accepting eligible children with special needs.

Finding a licensed child care provider who meets your child’s unique needs may mean you have to look further than a few miles from where you live or work. Not all child care providers are prepared to care for all children. CCA of WA hopes to help you find the best fit for your family.