Your Child Care Options
Child Care Resource and Referral provides parents with information about their child care options, including:
Child Care Centers
Child care centers are programs licensed by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services that serve seven or more children. In Louisiana, child care centers may be licensed as Class A or Class B. Regulations for Class A and B centers differ in several ways, including their staff training requirements, staff:child ratios, and allowable forms of discipline. If you are eligible for the Child Care Assistance program, it's important to know that only Class A centers may accept payments from the Child Care Assistance Program, and Class B centers may not. Visit the DCFS web site to learn more about the differences between Class A and Class B licenses.
Family Child Care Homes
Family child care homes are programs located in the home of the caregiver that serve up to six children. In Louisiana, family child care (FCC) programs are not licensed by the state, but FCC programs that receive payments through the Child Care Assistance Program and/or the Food program must register with state agencies and meet certain space, nutrition and training requirements.
Head Start and Early Head Start
Head Start and Early Head Start are federally funded programs offering free early care and education programming and other family-related services to low- and moderate-income families. Head Start programs may be offered in a child care center, a family child care home or through a public school.
Montessori programs follow the Montessori philosophy, which stresses children's self-directed development. Montessori programs may be licensed by the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services and/or registered with the Louisiana Department of Education.
Parents' Day Out Programs
Parents' Day Out programs typically provide care for a few hours a day. They may also operate for only part of the week. Parents' Day Out programs are not required to be licensed by state agencies.
School-Based Preschool Programs
Preschool programs are offered by many public and private schools.
Out-of-school-time programs offer care for school-aged children during times that traditional schools are closed, including before and after school, holidays and summer. Out-of-school time providers are not required to be licensed by state agencies in Louisiana.
Summer camps serve children during summer break. Some summer camp programs operate for the whole summer, while others may be open for just a few weeks. Camps vary widely in terms of which age groups they serve. Summer camps are not required to be licensed or regulated by state agencies in Louisiana.