The State of North Carolina is urging all families who can keep their children at home, with a responsible adult, to do so.
Emergency and first responders and critical workers needing referrals to child care programs that are open and operating for children ages birth to twelve should call the statewide toll–free number listed below for assistance:
(Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
Callers to be served include:
Emergency and first responders
Nursing and adult group home staff
Frontline health care providers
Child care program staff
Food service staff
Families of children who are homeless, receiving child welfare services, and/or in unstable or unsafe living arrangements
Others who are working to keep North Carolinians safe and healthy
Please note: Effective April 1st, the only licensed child care programs that are allowed to operate in North Carolina are those which have agreed to meet additional health, safety, and other requirements specified by the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education (DCDEE) and have been specifically authorized by DCDEE to remain open in April and May 2020.
Search online through the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education
The NC Division of Child Development makes every effort to provide information parents need to make the best possibly child care choices. The Division records a variety of information on regulated facilities that you might find useful in your search, including: Star rated license information, sanitation scores, complaint investigations, visits made by Division staff, and any administrative actions take. Click below to begin your search.
Things to consider when searching for a quality child care
- Think about what type of care best suits your child's needs and those of your family.
- Visit several programs to determine where you and your child will be most comfortable.
- Try to visit those programs during different times of the day.
- Take your child to visit the program before enrolling her. Observe your child interact with the care givers and other children.
- Ask questions about the program. It is your right and responsibility.
- Inquire about each program's star rated licensing and/or accreditation.
To find out more information about star rated licensing click here.
A checklist of important items to consider has been provided below. Print this checklist and use it as a guide and worksheet as you interview each childcare provider.
You can also download and use the Quality Child Care Checklist when you visit a child care program.
Get over the phone support
To talk with a child care referral specialist, please call our regional office at 1-877-230-3024.
Choosing a child care program is a big decision! The referral line provides one-on-one support finding child care that meets your needs in Moore County. This service is available at no cost to families.
A referral specialist is available to provide information and customized referrals to legally operating child care programs, including:
- Licensed child care centers
- Licensed family child care homes
- Half-day preschool programs
- Before and after-school care
- Summer camps
- Drop-in programs
They also provide information on:
- Recognizing and searching for quality early care and education
- State licensing requirements for child care facilities
- Local resources to assist with family needs, including financial assistance with child care
Learn more about child care licensing
In North Carolina, child care programs are regulated by the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education. If an individual is caring for more than two children who aren't related to them and they provide care for more than four hours a day, they probably should be licensed. In general, there are two types of programs regulated by the state, family child care homes and child care centers.
Family child care home
A smaller program offered in the provider's residence where three to five preschool children are in care. They may also provide care for three school age children.
Child care center
A larger program providing care for three or more children, but not in a residential setting. The number of children in care is based upon the size of individual classrooms and having sufficient staff, equipment and materials.
Programs that are exempt from licensure
- Recreational programs operated for less than four consecutive months in a year (e.g. summer camps)
- Specialized activities or instruction such as athletics, dance, art, or organized clubs for children, such as scouts, 4-H groups, or boys and girls clubs
- Drop-in or short-term care provided while parents participate in activities that are not employment related, and where the parents are on the premises or otherwise easily accessible
- Public schools
Regulation of Child Care
All licensed child care programs are required to meet child care rules and regulations. Child care requirements ensure that programs are meeting the minimum standards for care in North Carolina. Some of the child care licensing requirements that are checked during a program’s compliance visit are:
- Supervision of children
- Condition of equipment and materials
- Discipline practices
- Child/staff ratios
- Sanitation practices
- Staff education and training development
In addition, centers are required to meet sanitation, building and fire codes as required by other state agencies.
Information Provided by NC DCDEE (www.ncchildcare.nc.gov)
Unlicensed child care programs
Moore County is also home to a number of unlicensed child care programs that are not regulated by the Division of Child Development & Human Services. These include a variety of half-day, drop-in and/or short term care programs. To see a list of these programs click here.