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Child Care Resources Handbook


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In today's society, more and more families are relying on some type of child care arrangement in order to meet the competing demands of work and family. In 1997, 29.1 million U.S. families had children under the age of 14. In more than half of these families, either both parents worked or the family was headed by a single working parent. Three out of five mothers with children under age six work outside the home.

Whether by choice or by necessity, balancing the competing demands of work and child care is one of the most challenging undertakings that a family can have. The Child Care Resources Handbook is intended to introduce you - employers and employees - to a number of organizations and resources that can help you meet that challenge.Image of a child playing with blocks

This handbook was developed to provide practical tips on how to find child care and places to call for further information on related topics, such as, obtaining financial assistance.

The Handbook includes questions to ask during the initial telephone screening and a checklist of things to observe when visiting child care centers or homes. It also provides several directories of resources around the country that can help parents learn about child care, including:

  1. Local child care referral agencies;
  2. Federally sponsored child care centers;
  3. Financial assistance for low income parents;
  4. State resource and referral network contacts; and
  5. Federal organizations.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is committed to supporting Federal programs that assist employees who are caring for children, as well as providing work and family personnel flexibilities that help balance these responsibilities.

OPM wishes to acknowledge the contributions of the U.S. General Services Administration in providing input for federally sponsored day care centers.

The Federal Government has focused on providing readily available and useful information about child care. Over fifteen Federal agencies contribute information to, a one-stop resource for information about child care issues at A companion site,, located at offers a one-stop access to government resources that support after school programs


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