Choosing Quality Care

You have options about child care, but making that decision can be intimidating. You probably have many questions. We want to help – because what happens to a child in the first five years lays the foundation for a lifetime.

Why it Matters

From birth to five years of age, a child’s brain develops more rapidly than at any other time in life. During this significant time of development, a child is constantly observing and learning through the stimulation and interaction from parents and caregivers.

Positive, nurturing environments play a critical role in supporting a child’s physical, emotional, and social development. A child who experiences more interactions that are positive will have the building blocks for success. The opposite is also true.

Choosing the right environment for your child matters. We are here to help guide you in this important decision.

What is High Quality Child Care

The Montgomery County Early Childhood Coalition is committed to supporting the development and sustainment of high quality early childhood education in our community. We believe that a high quality program provides:

  • Attentive and responsive relationships between educator, child, and parent
  • Developmentally appropriate curriculum and learning experiences
  • Staff who are committed to on-going professional development and training
  • Opportunities for children to safely play and explore their physical environment
  • Commitment to the overall health, nutrition, and safety of every child
  • Continuing assessments of the child’s progress in all areas of development

If you would like more information, resources, and articles on how to recognize high-quality child care programs, visit The National Association for the Education of Young Children.

Look, Listen, and Ask

The following is a tip sheet from that you can use as a guide to help you look at, listen for, and ask about key features of a quality child care center.
View the PDF

Indiana's Quality Rating System

Paths to Quality banner image

In Indiana, early childhood educators have the opportunity to participate in Paths to QUALITY™ - a voluntary, statewide rating system created to help parents identify and choose high quality child care, and to assist child care and early learning providers in making significant, quality improvements to their programs.

A level 3 or 4 is considered a high-quality program on the Paths to QUALITY™ scale. To learn more about this program, or to determine if your provider is participating in the Paths to QUALITY program, visit

Early Learning Marketplace is modernizing how families find child care. Through the easy-to-use interface, families can search for programs near them, filter based on their needs, and claim available seats in real time. No more wasting time searching the internet and making phone calls only to reach a dead end. Click here to start your search.