Quality Indicators - What to look for
Families often want to know what they should look for in a high quality early care and education program. Below we have identified some of the most important indicators of quality in a child care program whether it is a center or a home-based program.
Health and Safety: Licensed or Certified programs (both centers and homes) meet the state's health and safety standards. Annual inspections are conducted to ensure providers meet all health and safety standards. To review Arizona licensing standards and to review inspection and enforcement, please visit Bureau of Child Care Licensing.
Division of Licensing Services
Office of Child Care Licensing
150 N. 18th Avenue, Suite # 400
Phoenix, AZ 85007-3224
Phone: (602) 364-2539
To view or file a complaint about a child care provider, please download this pdf.
Supervision: Children in a child care program need to have adult supervision at all times, including when sleeping, to prevent injuries and ensure children are engaged in activities to promote healthy growth and development.
Group Sizes: Some children thrive in a large group setting, while others need the quiet and comfort of a smaller group. You should look for an environment that most closely matches your child's personality and needs.
Ratios: The younger the child, the more one-on-one care he/she may need. Find out what the child/adult ratio is in each child care facility you visit. For adult to child ratios in Arizona, refer here, Child Care Types.
Caregiver Education and Turnover: An important indicator of quality is the level of education and continuing professional development that the child care provider has. In addition, low staff turnover provides consistency of care for children.
Accreditation: Generally, being an accredited program means they follow the national standards with the purpose of meeting higher requirements than the minimum state regulations.
Council on Accreditation
National Association of Child Care Professionals (NAC)
National Association for Family Child Care
National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
National Early Childhood Accreditation Program
Council for Professional Recognition
Family Involvement: Quality programs work closely with parents to ensure that they are kept informed about their child's development, and that they offer family members both planned and unplanned opportunities to observe and participate in activities.
For examples of Quality Indicators by age group, please call a Child Care Resource and Referral Specialist at 1-800-308-9000.