The Office of Early Childhood

Give Them TLC: Trusted Licensed Care

Choosing Child Care

Check License Status

Be sure to check and see if a child care provider is licensed before choosing them. You can search licensed child care providers across Connecticut at or by dialing 211.

Make Priorities

Choosing the right child care for your family starts with determining your priorities. What is most important to you? Location or hours? Small or large? Does your child have special healthcare needs? Write down your needs and priorities to help think through what’s most important.

Determine Schedule

Consider timing: Are you looking for certain days, hours, or weekend time to be covered? Do you need temporary or permanent child care support?


Do your homework by looking up potential caregivers to learn more about how they operate, what other families are saying about them, and to get a feel for their approach.

Visit & Ask Questions

Once you have selected a few potential child care options, visit the locations—and bring your child! Look around to see if you like the environment, and talk to teachers and care providers. Remember to stay involved and visit routinely even after you have made your selection and placed your child with a child care provider.

Types of Child Care

Family Child Care

Family Child Care Providers are people who are licensed to care for children in a home. Always check license status when selecting your child care provider, as licensed providers are held to health and safety standards.

Child Care Centers

A facility that has offered full/part time care including nursery schools, and before and after school programs to more than 12 children. For example, non-profits, schools, child care business.

Summer Camps

These are programs that care for children during school breaks including summer.

Exemptions: Some child care programs are legally exempt from child care licensing. Such as those operated by a public school or religious institution.

Why a License is Important

Training & Background Checks

Licensed providers receive background checks and medical exams for all staff members and staff are trained in first aid.

Safety Standards

Licensed providers must meet standards for cleanliness, freedom of hazards, and fire safety.

Quality Care

Licensed providers only care for a limited amount of children at one time, and all staff meet standards monitored by the OEC Licensing Division.

Careful Oversight

Licensed providers agree to unscheduled health and safety inspections from state licensing staff.

Support System

Concerned parents can file a complaint with the OEC Licensing Division, who investigate the claim and ensure that health and safety standards are always upheld.