Group Of Elementary Age Children In Art Class With TeacherBack to school time may bring on some new routines and new child care needs for your family. Whether it is full-time child care being provided in a child care center or certified small group home, Head Start program, or after-school program for our older kiddos, we only want the best for our next generation. Most child care programs are required by law to be licensed by the department’s Bureau of Child Care Licensing. You may verify the compliance of your chosen program by going to Using the search tool, you may find any licensed child care program in Arizona and read recent inspection reports. When enrolling, you may also request to view the inspection reports which are to be maintained on-site. Most programs have deficiencies which are observed during inspections (some major, some not); however, take time to read those regulations that were cited to determine, for yourself, whether they are of concern to you.

It is always a good idea to tour a facility prior to leaving your child for the first time . Pay attention to what your senses (smell, visual, sound) are telling you. Do you see staff actively interacting appropriately with children? Are children happy and engaged in age-appropriate activities? Once your child is enrolled in a program, pop in on different days and times to see how things are going on a regular day. If you do have concerns with your child care program, address them with facility management. If you are unable to resolve your concerns, you may wish to file a complaint online with the bureau.

The Bureau has developed a number of tools and resources for parents to utilize. Check out the bureau’s website to view the “Parents and Community” tab. There you will find A Parent’s Guide to Regulated Child Care, Enrolling Your Child in Child Care, FAQs, other helpful information, and links. Take advantage of these resources to make finding appropriate child care a little less daunting. We hope you have a happy and healthy school year ahead.