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Child Care Options in Washington State

Finding high-quality child care is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child and your family. Studies show that children who get high-quality child care are better prepared for school, have better language skills, improved executive function, and  are more likely to graduate from college. Below are examples of the types of child care available.

Licensed Child Care

Child care providers licensed by the state receive early learning training, important safety instruction, and first aid training, and they must pass criminal background checks. Their child care environments must also pass state inspection, to ensure safe, healthy, and nurturing environments. Licensed child care can be provided in a family home setting or in a child care center.

Early Achievers Child Care

Licensed child care providers who join Early Achievers work with expert coaches to improve their skills in working with children and to improve their programs to make them the best they can be.

Early Achievers is Washington’s quality recognition and improvement system for child care programs. It helps providers help children reach their full potential, and it provides families with a child care recognition system to help them understand program quality.

Friends, Family, and Neighbors (FFN) Child Care

Family, Friends, and Neighbor (FFN) caregivers include grandparents, aunts and uncles, elders, older siblings, friends, neighbors, and others who help families by providing child care. Child Care Aware of Washington offers Play and Learn Group resources to FFN providers to supplement their programs.