Given the huge abundance of information online these days, you may be feeling overwhelmed by the number of state & federal daycare resources and websites, and you’re not sure where to turn for good advice on child care information.
I’m hoping I can shed some light on the confusing maze of local and national resources for daycare providers and business owners.
First, let’s focus in on what’s available for you at the national level. There are 2 main sources for national child care information, that aren’t affiliated with any special groups per se.
- The NCCIC is the National Child Care Information Center. Their website is www.nccic.org. This is the umbrella organization for collecting all info about child care licensing. Each of the 50 states connects to this site, so if you want to get info about your state’s rules, demographics, special reports, contact info for licensing packets, etc., this is where you want to start. Go to the URL above to cruise around the site and see what you find. For your state’s rules and specifics, go here: http://nccic.acf.hhs.gov/statedata/statepro/index.html
(Yes, I know it’s a long URL, but worth it!) 😉
- The NACCRRA is the National Assoc. of Childcare Resource & Referral Agencies. This is the umbrella group for all the CCR&R offices around the country. Their website is www.naccrra.org.
The CCR&Rs are the local/regional groups who provide training, support, referrals to parents looking for care, mentoring groups, and information on local grants and low-interest loans. Once you’ve contacted your state and learned about your state’s rules, you should call your local CCR&R and see how they can help you as a new provider or business owner.
You can find your local CCR&R by going to www.naccrra.org and entering your ZIP code in the map search box on the right-hand side of the page. Your search results will provide the name of your local CCR&R, and the contact information. Most also have their own web page.
Now, there are also national non-profit organizations, that are linked to special accreditations or special interest groups, which you might find helpful. Each of these organizations holds annual national conferences, and some hold smaller regional events throughout the year.
These events are an excellent way to network with other providers, meet experts in the field, get a mentor or coach, and get top-notch training in all types of child-care topics. The largest of these are:
- NAEYC: National Assoc. for the Education of Young Children. Website: www.naeyc.org.
- NAFCC: National Assoc. for Family Child Care. Website: www.nafcc.org
- NACCP: National Assoc. of Child Care Professionals. Website: www.naccp.org
I hope this article helps you find your way through the maze!