Step-by-step guide to finding child care

From child care facilities and afterschool programs that care for lots of kids to a home in your neighborhood that takes care of just a few, child care can look a lot of different ways.

Each family will have different needs. The type of care a parent chooses will probably change as children grow and mature.

Step 1

Start with what you need right now

Before you start searching for a child care provider, take a look at what you need. Things to consider include:

  • What is your child’s age?
  • How many days and hours of care do you need each day?
  • What is your budget?
  • Where is the best place for your provider to be located?
  • Does your child have any special needs?
  • How quickly do you need child care?

Step 2

Create a plan for the coming years

As many parents can tell you, it’s important to start your search as early as possible. But families often forget about long term planning.

As your child grows up and your family changes, how might your needs change? Long-term thinking should include:

  • Other children in your family or children you may expect to add to your family
  • Parents’ plans for their own education and career
  • How your child care needs will be different when children enter preschool, elementary school and beyond
  • How a child with special needs may have changing requirements as they mature

Step 3

Find providers with South Carolina’s Child Care Resource and Referral program

The South Carolina Child Care Resource and Referral works with parents one-on-one to help them choose child care. They can also review a family’s eligibility for financial help.

There are two ways to get their help:

  • Call 888-335-1002 to talk to a referral specialist who can listen to your needs and give you a list of child care providers in your area.
  • Email a request using the SCCR&R web form