University of California, Riverside

Human Resources

Selecting the Best Care for Your Child

Finding child care that truly meets your family's needs is critical for your ability to be a working parent. It is one of the most important and difficult decisions working parents face. Common ways to begin your search include using:

  1. Personal Referrals: Ask your friends, neighbors, and co-workers about their child care arrangements.
  2. Governmental Agencies: These local agencies furnish child care provider information:

Riverside County Office of Education, Children's Services Unit at (951) 826-6626 or (800)442-4927

Kids N Care, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools at 800-722-1091

Since locating high quality child care takes time, try to begin your search well in advance of when you will need care. Some programs have long waiting lists, so you may need to pre-enroll your child in more than one program. By beginning your search early, you'll allow yourself time to make a final decision that works for your family.

Selecting the right kind of care for your child is a very personal decision. You should feel confident that your child's physical, social, emotional, and intellectual needs are understood and met by the program you select. Don't hesitate to ask questions and express any concerns you may have about a program. The Guidelines for Evaluating Childcare can help ensure you consider the important questions you will want to ask. Gather as much information about the program as you can by clearly expressing your needs and expectations, arranging visits to observe program activities at different times of the day, asking the provider for the names and telephone numbers of enrolled parents, and calling those parents.

Few child care programs will provide everything you may desire and most parents will need to make some trade-offs in choosing child care. Ideally, the child care you choose should offer three basic benefits to you and your child: a safe and healthy place for children; caring people who have experience with the needs of children and working parents; and a convenient, stable, and affordable arrangement with operating hours that match your work schedule.

Once you narrow your choices down, make personal visits to the facility. When visiting, observe carefully to see how your child might fit into this setting. Although it may be fine to take an infant on these initial visits, wait until you've limited your choices to one or two programs before taking a toddler or pre-schooler along, to avoid confusing them needlessly. Programs may have established visiting procedures for parents and children.

Although resource and referral agencies can give you names of potential providers and services that are available to you, they generally do not visit all child care centers or family day care homes and cannot recommend particular programs or otherwise rate quality - the judgment rests with you.

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General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

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Department Information

Human Resources
1201 University Ave., Suite 208
Riverside, CA 92507

Tel: (951) 827-5588
Fax: (951) 827-2672