Finding Child Care

All child care centers and family child care homes must be licensed by the State of California Community Care Licensing Division. Licensing is intended to assure minimal standards of health and safety protection for children. Licensing, however, does not guarantee the quality of a child care center or home. You, the parent, are the best judge of whether the child care services provided will meet your child's needs.

Choosing who cares for your child is one of the most important and difficult decisions you'll ever have to make. To help better judge quality when you're considering which child care program is right for your child, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) provides information you can use to evaluate child care programs. NAEYC provides specific guidance as to what to look for in a program to serve your infant, toddler or preschool child.

Type of Licensed Child Care

Family Child Care Homes

Family child care is provided in a small group setting in an individual's home. Family child care provides a home-like atmosphere for a child and greater flexibility to match non-traditional schedules.

Center-Based Programs

Child care centers, nursery schools, Head Start programs, parent cooperatives and preschools are center based programs that care for children in groups of 12 or more. These programs vary in the number of hours children are in care, the types of learning environment they offer and the specific goals of the program.


The National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC) has developed an accreditation process for licensed family child care homes. Accredited providers have demonstrated a commitment to reach beyond minimum licensing requirements and have received professional recognition. For the names of accredited providers in Irvine, please call the Orange County Child Care Association at 949-857-6003.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) has developed an accreditation system for Early Childhood Program (ages 0-6). It provides a process through which early childhood professionals and families can evaluate and strengthen the child care program and commit to ongoing evaluation and improvement. Visit NAEYC to see which Irvine centers are accredited.

Child Care Program Listings


Family-Based Child care- Infant/Toddler/Preschool 

Family Child Care Homes listed by Irvine Village. Please call family child care programs directly to inquire about specific location, hours and ages served. View Map of Irvine Villages here.

Center-Based Programs- Infant/Toddler/Preschool 

Center-Based Programs- School Age