Choosing Quality Child Care

Grow NJ Kids

Learning starts early. Even before children crawl, they’ve started to develop learning, language and social skills. Their minds absorb everything around them. So you want to make sure they’re in a quality learning environment.

Grow NJ Kids provides numerous resources to help you find or build that environment. Grow NJ Kids, New Jersey’s Quality Rating Improvement System, is New Jersey’s program to raise the quality of child care and early learning across the state.

One result of that effort is a rating system to help parents find the right program that will lead to their child’s success. Grow NJ Kids uses stars to show different levels of quality.

CLICK HERE to find a participating program near you.

CLICK HERE for more information about the Grow NJ Kids program.


Achieving accreditation involves extensive self-study and validation by professionals outside the program to verify that quality standards are met. Research has demonstrated that accreditation positively impacts early and school-age care program quality, including benefits to children, families, and staff.

  • NAEYC works together with program staff across the country to implement best practices and develop a consistent understanding of how to achieve and maintain high quality.
  • NECPA encourages early care programs seeking to improve or receive recognition of their high quality care, to enroll for NECPA Accreditation. NECPA accredits all types of programs; center-based, family home, ministry or faith-based, and university centers, among others. NECPA does not require a specific curriculum type to become accredited, all forms of care are welcome! 
  • National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs provides a comprehensive ongoing quality improvement system that acknowledges the diversity of programs through the self-study and award process. Over 1,500 early learning programs in 38 states, DC and overseas participate in the Accreditation process. These include but are not limited to university and college campus-based programs, private child care, faith-based preschools, head starts, public preschools, corporate centers, DoD programs, and employer-sponsored programs.
  • National After School Association
  • National Association for Family Child Care


Preschool Teaching


The Look, Listen, and Ask tip sheets are short tools to help guide your child care program visits. They are designed to help you learn more about the program. There is a tip sheet for each kind of child care setting.

Child Care Aware of America also has varied checklist and resources for choosing a high-quality child care provider.

CLICK HERE to view these resources.