Find Child Care and Camps

The Office of Early Childhood (OEC) helps make sure that child care programs and camps are safe, healthy places for children to learn and grow. 

Explore your options with 2-1-1 Child Care

Use the 2-1-1 Child Care website to find child care programs and camps in your area. Search by name or location to get details about programs like:

  • Ages of children they serve
  • Costs
  • Hours
  • Inspection and violation history
  • Provider’s experience and qualifications

You can also call 2-1-1 (or 800-505-1000) to talk to a child care specialist.

Types of child care

In Connecticut, there are a few kinds of licensed child care.

Child care centers

  • Larger programs, like day care centers or after-school programs
  • 12 or more children

Family child care homes

  • Programs that a person opens in their home
  • Smaller programs with up to 6 to 9 children

Group child care homes

  • Might be in someone’s home or in a building like a school
  • Up to 12 children
  • Less common than family child care homes or child care centers

There are also some child care programs that, by law, don’t need to have a license, like some programs run by schools. These programs don’t need to follow the health and safety standards required of licensed programs.

3 reasons to choose licensed child care

1. Safety. We inspect licensed child care providers to make sure they’re safe and healthy places to learn. We require that licensed providers get background checks and health check-ups, too.

2. High-quality care. Licensed providers and staff have to meet training requirements, including First Aid. We also have limits on the number of children in a licensed child care at one time, so you’ll know your child is getting the attention they deserve.

3. Support. If you have a problem with a licensed child care program, you can always call OEC to get help or file a complaint.

Find the right fit

Every family is different, and each child has unique needs. Here are some things to consider when you’re looking for a child care program.

Make a list of what matters most

What are your must-haves for choosing a child care program? You may want to consider:

  • Hours
  • How close they are to home or work
  • Cost
  • Number of children in the program
  • Ability to accommodate children with special needs

Check a program’s Elevate status

Elevate is a state program that supports child care providers in offering quality child care for families. There are 3 levels. Programs may showcase their Elevate level — in their marketing or on the web — to demonstrate their commitment to improving the care they provide.


Meets the state’s health and safety standards


Has taken steps to strengthen the services they offer

Member Accredited

Meets the highest national standards for early learning and education

Learn more about Elevate levels and what they mean for your family.

Look into financial assistance

If you need help covering the costs of child care or camps in Connecticut, learn about programs and organizations that can help.

Check the program’s record

Once you have a list of a few licensed programs or camps, use 2-1-1 Child Care’s online search tool to get more information about them. You can use the tool’s results to:

  • Confirm the program is licensed
  • View the history of licensing violations and complaints for a provider or program
  • View copies of actual inspection reports and provider’s or program’s corrective action plans

Plan a visit

Call and schedule visits at a few different options — and bring your child with you. 2-1-1 Childcare has quality checklists you can use when you’re visiting.

While you’re there, ask about past inspections. By law, OEC inspects all licensed child care facilities every year and write a report. If you ask, child care programs are required to let you see the most recent report.

Last updated September 28, 2023