Select a School Readiness Provider

Your child deserves the best!

How do I know how to choose a quality Child Care Provider?


Five Steps for Choosing Quality Childcare


Visit several different child care programs before you decide which one is best for your family. Visit the child care program more than once, at different times of the day. Stays as long as possible so you can get a good feel for what the care will be like for your child. After you start using the child care, continue to visit from time to time.

  • Does the child care program look safe?
  • Are the children supervised at all times, even while they are sleeping?
  • Do all caregivers and children wash their hands often, especially before and after eating and after using the bathroom or changing diapers?
  • Are toxic substances like cleaning supplies and pest killers kept away from children?


  • What does the child care setting sound like?
  • Do the children sound happy and involved?
  • Do the teachers seem cheerful and patient?


Count the number of children to adults and the number of children they will be supervising. Be certain there are enough adults to supervise all of the different activities that are planned. Remember, the fewer the number of children for each adult, the more attention your child will get.

State Adult to Child Ratios for Child Care Centers

  • Birth – 12 months (1:4)
  • 12-24 months (1:6)
  • 2-year-olds (1:11)
  • 3-year-olds (1:15)
  • 4/5-year-olds (1:20)
  • School-age children (1:25)


Ask about the training and experience of all adults will be with your children. Find out about any special training staff has received and whether the program is accredited.

  • Do the adults have first aid and CPR training?
  • Are their discipline policies compatible with your philosophy?
  • Are children able to choose among activities?
  • What do the adults know about child development?
  • Have all caregivers gone through a background check?

Be Informed

Find out more about efforts in your community to improve the quality of child care.

For more information on choosing a safe and healthy child care setting, please visit the following links:

Department of Children and Families, Child Care Licensing

Gold Seal Providers


Want to see a list of School Readiness Providers that have a signed agreement with the Early Learning Coalition of Polk County?

Click here and search for providers offering School Readiness! 

For more information on choosing a Child Care Provider please call 863-577-2450.


For more listings visit the Department of Children & Families

Search for providers, view provider inspection reports, get Gold Seal information, learn about training requirements, opening a child care facility, and report abuse. or call 1-800-96-ABUSE for Provider search