Choosing Child Care

Click here to get online referrals.

Selecting the Right Child Care Provider for Your Family

The Resource and Referral team at Children’s Council provides referrals to San Francisco licensed family child care homes and licensed child care centers. For more information on our child care referral services, click here.

When choosing a provider, parents are urged to verify that benchmarks of quality child care are present in the child care home or center. Click here for our quality child care checklist.

You can get detailed Tips on Choosing Child Care. Download by language using the links below:

Monthly Choosing Child Care Workshops

On the second Tuesday of each month Children's Council offers free Choosing Child Care workshops that assist parents in making informed choices about child care options. Click here for complete schedule or to register.

 Child Care Licensing and Background Checks

Before placing your child(ren) in care, we suggest that you review a potential provider’s state licensing history.  Community Care Licensing is the state agency responsible for licensing and monitoring family child care homes and child care centers to ensure that they provide safe and healthy environments for children.  For more information, or to verify a provider’s license, visit or call 650.266.8843.

In accordance with Oliver’s Law, licensed child care providers must keep a record of complaints received since 1997. Providers are required to present this information to a parent when asked.  Parents who are not comfortable about asking a provider for a list of complaints, or who are concerned about complaints occurring before 1997, should contact Community Care Licensing for information on their chosen provider.

All of the individual child care providers in Children’s Council’s resource and referral database have been cleared through TrustLine, California's registry of in-home child care providers.  These caregivers have passed a fingerprint check of records at the California Department of Justice, and have been found to have no disqualifying criminal convictions or substantiated child abuse reports in California.  For more information, visit

Although it is important to verify a child care provider’s license and TrustLine clearance, it is important to note that licensing and TrustLine clearances are not a guarantee of quality.