- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 29, 2002

Books

•"The Unofficial Guide to Childcare," by Ann Douglas, John Wiley & Sons, 1998. This book outlines the pros and cons of different child care arrangements and offers tips and suggestions for parents thinking of using child care.

•"Choosing Quality Child Care: The American Red Cross Search Guide," edited by the American Red Cross, American Red Cross Publishing, 2001. This book has work sheets with questions for parents to ask caregivers.

•"The Working Parents Handbook," by Kit Kollenberg and June Solnit Sale with Ellen Melinkoff, Fireside, 1996. This book covers child care along with other topics of interest to working parents.

Association

•National Association for Family Child Care, 5202 Pinemont Drive, Salt Lake City, UT, 84123. Phone: 801/269-938. Web site: www.nafcc.org. This professional association offers tips for people interested in becoming a provider as well as its own accreditation and referrals for those looking for child care.

Local resources

These offices can help locate licensed caregivers in your area:

Maryland:

•Locate Child Care (State of Maryland Child Care Resource Network): 410/625-1111.

•Montgomery County Child Care Resource Center: 301/279-1173.

•Prince George's County Child Care Resource Center: 301/772-8400.

Virginia:

•Alexandria Department of Social Services. Office for Early Childhood Development: 703/838-0750.

•Arlington County Child Care Office: 703/228-1550.

•City of Fairfax Human Services Coordinator: 703/385-7894.

•Fairfax County Office for Children: 703/449-9555.

•Loudoun County Department of Social Services: 703/777-0353.

District:

•D.C. Department of Health: 202/442-5929.

Online

•Monday Morning Moms (www.mondayam.com), a for-profit child care resource and referral network, has tips on finding quality child care on its Web site.

•The Montgomery County Child Care Resource and Referral Center (www.earlychildhoodservices.org) has an extensive checklist for parents to use as well as a comparison chart for how child care can differ.

•Fairfax County Office for Children (www.co.fairfax.va.us/service/ofc) has cost comparisons for different types of child care, along with an online referral to licensed caregivers.

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