Columbus Parent and Action for Children have teamed up to bring you our first Childcare Directory.

Columbus Parent and Action for Children have teamed up to bring you our first Childcare Directory. Action for Children is a nonprofit childcare resource and referral agency that has been serving Central Ohio families since 1972.

ABOUT THE DIRECTORY
Included in this directory are 196 full-time and part-time childcare centers, including those with preschools. While Action for Children has nearly 1,700 providers listed in its database, for this directory we chose to list centers that are licensed by the State of Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services or its Department of Education, and which also have received national accreditation and/or Ohio's Step Up to Quality star rating.

The list of centers which meet these criteria is subject to change, even on a daily basis. For example, new centers may receive accreditation or a star rating, or, for a variety of reasons, centers may not be re-accredited or may have a change in their star rating. We also have not included at-home providers in this directory, but Action for Children can provide information and referrals to those in your area.

Action for Children's resource and information specialists provide detailed explanations of public funding, licensing, accreditation and Step Up to Quality; guide parents through the search criteria; and provide options that include full-day, part-day centers, Head Start programs and family home child care. There is no cost for these services.

HOW TO READ THE DIRECTORY
The first section of the directory lists full-time childcare and early learning centers, and the second section lists part-time center programs (preschools). Within each section, the listings are organized by zip code and then alphabetically within each zip code. The asterisk (*) after some centers' names means they accept families who qualify for publicly-funded child care. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) provides financial assistance to income-eligible parents (based on the family size and income in relation to the federal poverty level) so that they can work or attend school or job training. Families may be eligible for all or part of their monthly child care expenses. Ohio's county departments of job and family services determine families' eligibility, and the ODJFS reimburses providers for the cost of that care. The age range indicates the minimum and maximum ages served. Centers are identified as nationally accredited (NAEYC, NAC) or star rated (in Ohio's Step Up to Quality program) and help parents identify childcare centers that go beyond the minimum standards of licensing. Quality indicators include lower child-teacher ratios, more highly trained teachers, early learning programming, smaller group sizes, etc. Seeking this accreditation or rating is voluntary. The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) offers a national voluntary accreditation system, which sets professional quality standards for early childhood education programs. The other national center accreditation is from the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education (NAC). Step Up to Quality is Ohio's voluntary quality three-star rating system for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) licensed centers. Step Up to Quality recognizes early care and education programs that exceed quality benchmarks over and above Ohio's licensing standards. Search the Directory

How to reach ACTION FOR CHILDREN for more information:

On the web: actionforchildren.org
On the phone:
Franklin County 614-224-0222
Delaware County 740-369-0649
Fairfield County 740-687-6833
Licking County 740-345-6166, ext. 209
Madison County 740-852-0975, ext. 15
Pickaway County 740-477-1602
InUnion County 937-645-2017