About this Handbook

This book will help you learn about:

  • The types of child care.
  • What is quality child care?
  • When your child is alone.

This book also helps you keep a record of:

  • Who cares for your child
  • Emergency phone numbers.

Being a Parent Being a parent means making sure your child is:

  • Healthy
  • Safe
  • Well-taken care of
  • Loved
  • Happy

There may be times when you need others to care your child. A child needs to be cared for by an adult at all times.

You need others to care for your child when you are:

  • At work
  • At job training
  • At school
  • Not feeling well
  • Out of the home for any reason

You must carefully choose who cares for your child.

Child Care Choices

You may choose a:

  • Child Care Home
  • Child Care Center
  • Another Adult

If you choose a child care home or center, make sure it is licensed. Licensed child care means that state health and safety laws have been met.

If you choose another adult, choose someone who cares for your child as you do.

Not all choices are the same. Some child care choices are better than others.

Finding Quality Child Care

Quality Child Care Has:

  • Warm and caring people working with the child
  • A setting that is clean, safe and cheerful
  • Things to do that help your child learn and grow
  • A positive way of helping your child learn right from wrong

Here are some questions to ask when looking for a quality child care home or center:

  • What hours are you open?
  • What will my child do each day?
  • What will my child eat?
  • Do you have a list of people I can call about your services?
  • What will you do if my child does something wrong?

When you visit, does the home or center have:

  • A clean bathroom and kitchen?
  • A safe place to store poisons and other harmful things?
  • A safety plan in case of fire?
  • Enough space indoors and outdoors?
  • Playthings your child’s age?
  • Enough playthings for the number of children?

Look to see if:

  • The children are having a good time
  • The children are getting attention
  • There is a place for children to spend quiet time
  • Tables and chairs are made for children
  • There are lots of things for children to do
  • There are enough adults to take care of the children well
  • Parents are welcome

When choosing another adult for quality child care, many of the questions are the same.

Here are some others you may want to ask:

  • Tell me about the times you take care of children.
  • What will you do in an emergency?
  • What happens if my child does something wrong?

To help you find quality child care, or to see about getting help paying for child care, call:

Being a parent means making sure your child is:

  • Healthy
  • Safe
  • Well-taken care of
  • Loved
  • Happy

When Your Child is Alone

As a parent you decide if your child is old enough to be left alone. There are many reasons why children should be cared for at all times by an adult.

14 Reasons Why Children Should Not Be Left Alone

  1. Pre-teens and teens may use this time to try alcohol or drugs.
  2. Most teen sex happens in the home while parents are at work.
  3. Your child may lose the key and get locked out.
  4. If there is a fire, your child may not know what to do.
  5. Your child may get lonely and sad.
  6. Your child may tell a stranger on the phone that he is alone.
  7. Your electricity or water may go out. What would your child do?
  8. Your neighbors may not be there when your child needs help.
  9. Your child may not make good choices for her safety.
  10. Your child may get hurt while doing chores and not be able to phone for help.
  11. If your child cuts a finger, she may not be able to stop the bleeding.
  12. Your child may choose to watch TV instead of doing homework.
  13. A child may spill hot water on himself while making a snack in the microwave.
  14. A stranger may be let in the house to “use the phone.”

As a parent, you may wonder if your child is old enough to be left alone.

Here are some things your older child must know to be left at home alone:

  • How to use the phone to call you
  • How to contact 911
  • How to contact a neighbor or family close by to help if needed
  • How to answer the phone so that a stranger does not know he is home alone
  • How to make a snack
  • How to contact the Poison Control Center
  • Where you can be reached at all time
  • Where a spare key can be found
  • Your rules about having friends over when you are not there or leaving the house when you are not there
  • Never to let strangers in the house
  • What to do in case of a fire
  • What to do if she gets hurt
  • How to entertain himself


Your Child Care Record

Child's Name




Emergency Phone Numbers



  • Arizona Governor’s Office for Children, “School Age Child Care Information for Parents,” pamphlet.
  • Arizona Department of Economic Security Child Care Subsidy Program, “What You Need to Know,” brochure.
  • The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension, Bulletin #8476, “Suggestions for Selecting a Day Care Center” by Alberta Johnson.


  • Funds for this publication are provided by the Arizona Department of Economic Security (Child Care Administration) through the Federal Child Care & Development Block Grant.
  • We gratefully acknowledge the assistance of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, Steve Calantuoni, Adriana Calantuoni, Mercie Fernandez, and Robert Casler.

This document located at http://ag.arizona.edu/pubs/family/az9515/english.html
Return to Table of Contents