FAQ

Parent FAQ

About DayHeart

DayHeart is a modern mobile app and website connecting families and early learning and care providers and programs. Built for both parents and providers, DayHeart is a place where parents can search for the care that meets their family’s needs and where early learning and care programs can market and advertise their services and availability. Programs can be searched across a wide variety of filters including type of program, types of care, ages served, schedules, meal options, activities, philosophies and methodologies, and much more.


Basic information about the providers and program is free to search and review (such as address, contact details, quality and licensing information, descriptions, and whether they offer programs or assistance for eligible low-income families.) Access to more in-depth information and available openings will require a premium account once the beta test period ends.


How much does DayHeart cost?

The DayHeart app is free to download and during the beta test period everything on the DayHeart platform is free. After the beta test period ends, you can still search basic information about providers for free but you will need to sign up for a premium account in order to see provider openings and search more in-depth information about your options.


We will offer two premium account options: $25 for one month of access or $60 for 3 months.


Do I need to create an account?

A free basic DayHeart account is not necessary for your child care search but you will need to sign up for a free basic account to access provider contact information and also to create your favorites list and share those favorites to Facebook or Twitter.


After DayHeart’s beta test period ends, you will need to upgrade to a premium account to access more detailed information about providers and see the current or upcoming openings in their programs.


Is DayHeart a subscription?

No. With DayHeart, you will only pay for as much or as little access as you need and that is why we will offer different premium account options: $25 for one month of access or $60 for three months of access. Research shows that most child care searches take about 4-8 weeks. Some people find what they are looking for right away and for some people it takes a bit longer.


If you buy access for one month and need more, then you just pay for another month. DayHeart does not auto-renew and you won’t get charged for anything more than you need.


Why should I upgrade to a premium DayHeart account?

Don’t spend hours online and on the phone trying to track down information from busy providers when DayHeart can do it for you.


The average child care search takes 4-8 weeks and a lot of that time is spent hunting for basic information. DayHeart gets the information you need from providers and puts it right at your fingertips so your search is easier and takes a lot less time. Get the answers to your questions right when you have them without having to wait for a provider to be open and available.


How do I search on DayHeart?

Enter an address into the address bar and move the slider to select your search radius. You can also choose wide variety of filters to search through all the options listed. Some of the information is free but most of the in-depth information and provider openings will require a premium account to access once the beta test period ends.


Start with the ages served, type of program, and the type of care you are searching for and then go from there. For example, if you are looking for a bilingual or language immersion program or a Montessori program, select those filters in the “Methodologies, Instructional Philosophies, or Special Focus” category. If you are looking for a program that can accommodate a kosher or dairy free diet, select those filters in the “Meal Options and Dietary Accommodations” category.


You can choose to search all providers or only those who have listed a current or upcoming opening. You can also just look at individual provider/program profiles to review everything.


How do I create a Favorites list?

You need to sign up for a free basic account to create a list of your favorite programs. You can favorite a program/provider that you like by clicking the small heart icon in the top right corner of the provider’s link in the program list. All the programs you have favorited will show up in your Favorites list which you can find on the menu.


You can ask your friends and networks for their thoughts and experiences with the programs you are checking out by sharing your favorites to Facebook or Twitter. Select up to three programs and click one of the share buttons in the top right corner. This will generate a social media post listing the names and addresses of the programs you have selected. Please note that on Facebook only the first part of the post created is shown to you but the entere post does include the names and locations of the programs you selected to share.


I found a program I like on DayHeart and I want to contact them. What do I do?

In order to see contact information for a program, you need to sign up for a free basic DayHeart account. Click the mail icon on a provider’s profile page and if the provider has an email address listed with DayHeart, a message from you to provider will be generated in your preferred email program. You can also use the phone number listed if we have one for them.


If a provider you are interested in has posted an available opening for the right age of your child and for the schedule you want, call or email them immediately and set up a time to visit the program. If you want to know what to ask or how to look for quality in a program, check out the links below (tag to what to ask for question)


Can I sign up for a provider’s wait list on DayHeart?

Not yet, but hopefully soon. In the meantime, contact the provider directly.


What kinds of providers are on DayHeart?

DayHeart only lists formal child care, preschool, and afterschool businesses, including child care centers, family child care providers (also known as in-home child care), preschools, and after school or school-age care providers. DayHeart does not have listings for nannies or people who offer babysitting services.


In order to be listed on DayHeart a provider needs to either have a license to provide care by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) or if they aren’t required to have a DCYF license (license-exempt) they need to either have a business license with the state or be run by a qualifying nonprofit organization or public agency. For example, many school district developmental preschools or public PreK programs such as Head Start or Washington’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) are not required to be licensed by DCYF.


Does DayHeart verify the information on a program’s profile is correct?

The information provided on DayHeart comes from either publicly available data sources or is entered by the provider. While DayHeart will periodically check licensing status and quality rating with the state’s licensing database, we do not verify the accuracy of any of the information. It is up to you to confirm any and all of the information provided about the providers according to DayHeart Terms and Conditions which you agree to when using DayHeart.


Providers who manage their program’s DayHeart profile are also bound by the Terms and Conditions which prohibits posting false or misleading information.


Do providers pay to be listed on DayHeart?

No. Provider profiles on DayHeart are 100% free for providers. Though tuition can sometimes be astronomically high, child care businesses actually have very slim profit margins and most providers are sole proprietors who don’t make a lot of money. Only a very few providers have any budget for marketing and advertising. In short, providers wouldn’t pay to be listed on a platform like DayHeart because they simply couldn’t afford to.


If you are wondering why providers charge so much and earn so little, check out this excellent short video explanation on the economics of child care from The Center for the Study of Child Care Employment at UC Berkeley and Child Care Aware of America.


Does DayHeart have parent reviews or endorse any programs?

No, DayHeart does not collect or publish parent reviews. We also don’t endorse or make any recommendations for or against any providers listed on DayHeart.


Why not? From personal experience and from talking with lots of parents and providers, we have learned that these kinds of reviews simply aren’t very helpful. Parents want more than a few stars and a sentence or two from someone they’ve never met when they are looking for a place that will love and care for their child for long periods of time. Parents want quality information from trusted sources. DayHeart gives you access to the state’s Early Achievers quality ratings – a research-driven quality rating and improvement system. And DayHeart allows you to share the programs you are interested in with your friends and networks on social media to get their feedback and experiences.


What can DayHeart offer to help make a child care decision?
  • First, you can use DayHeart to ask your networks. You can favorite up to three providers/programs and generate a social media post for Facebook or Twitter asking your friends and communities to give you their feedback and experiences with the providers you are interested in.
  • Second, we show each provider’s quality rating from the state’s Early Achievers quality rating and improvement system if they participate in the program – this information is also available in the state’s licensing database. Some licensed providers are required to participate in Early Achievers but other programs participate voluntarily.
  • Third, if a provider is licensed to provide care by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF), their DayHeart profile is linked to state’s licensing database. You can click on their Provider ID number and you will be taken directly to the provider’s page in the state’s Child Care Check database and you will be able to see their licensing history including background checks, inspections, and complaints.

How can I check out a licensed provider’s licensing history and what does it mean if a provider isn’t licensed?

On DayHeart, you can click on the Provider ID number and it will open directly to the provider’s page on the state’s licensing database Child Care Check where you can review a provider’s licensing history including information about complaints, background checks, and inspections.


Most full day child care and preschool programs and many afterschool programs are required to have either a child care center, family child care, or school age care license from the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF). Programs that serve preschool-aged children for 4 or fewer hours a day, parent co-ops, some public PreK programs, and some after school programs are not required to have a DCYF license.


Licensed programs are monitored, regulated, and inspected by the state and must meet minimum health and safety, professional, and quality standards on a wide variety of things such as child-to-teacher ratios; background checks; training and education requirements; food preparation; hygiene; CPR, first aid and medication administration; and facility and materials.


If a program isn’t licensed by the state, it doesn’t mean the care provided is not safe or quality but it is not required to meet any minimum standards and is not regulated, monitored or inspected. Some programs that are not licensed by the state may meet other requirements or standards if they offer a public PreK program like Head Start or receive accreditation from another organization such as the American Montessori Society.


Learn more about licensed child care in Washington State.


Illegal Care: In Washington State, any provider/program that cares for preschool-aged children for more than 4 hours a day or cares for infants and toddlers for any period of time must have a child care license. If the care takes place in the provider’s home they need a Family Child Care (FCC) license and if the care takes place in another setting, they need a Child Care Center license. It is illegal for anyone without one of these licenses to offer care for preschool aged children for more than 4 hours a day OR offer care for non-preschool aged children (infants and toddlers) for any amount of time.


What is the Early Achievers Quality Rating System?

Early Achievers is Washington State’s voluntary quality rating and improvement system for early learning and care providers. Many licensed providers and public PreK programs are required to participate in Early Achievers but some are not. Most programs that are not required to have a license do not participate in Early Achievers.


According to the Department of Children, Youth, and Families:


“Early Achievers provides evidence-based information about the quality of early learning programs through an easy-to-understand rating system. At Levels I and 2, early learning professionals are “participating in quality improvement” through training and activities. Facilities that are rated Levels 3 through 5 have achieved a “quality level of excellence” through an on-site evaluation.”


My child has disabilities or special needs. How do I find a provider who will care for my child?

DayHeart cannot ask whether providers will serve a child with disabilities or special needs because it would be illegal for a provider to answer no. However, we do want to make it easier to find a provider who could be a fit for your family so we included a filter where you can search for a provider’s history serving children with disabilities or special needs. 


Most early learning and care programs must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which states that providers cannot exclude children simply because of a disability. The ADA requires that early learning and care providers make reasonable modifications in order to serve a child with disabilities unless doing so would “pose an undue hardship,” “constitute a fundamental alteration of the program,” or “pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.”


Only programs run by religious entities are not required to comply with the ADA. However, privately-run programs operating on the premises of a religious organization, but not controlled or operated by the organization, are NOT exempt from the requirements of the ADA.


To learn more about the law and your rights check out The Center for Children with Special Needs, US Department of Justice ADA Child Care Q&A, and the PACER Center. You can also get personal assistance from Disability Rights Washington and the Washington State Human Rights Commission.


What financial assistance programs are available to help pay for child care and What are the different free or reduced-cost early learning programs and how do I apply?

The State of Washington, the City of Seattle, and a few other organizations offer financial assistance programs to help eligible low-income families afford child care. There are also special child care assistance programs for foster families, homeless families, seasonally employed agricultural families, and full-time college students in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.


Learn more and find out if you are eligible:



There are also also several different free or reduced-cost early learning programs for income-eligible families in Washington State. Learn more about them and how to apply below.


Head Start: Head Start is a federal program that provides free high-quality prekindergarten and development services to 3-and 4-year old children from low-income families through public and non-profit organizations in local communities. Find out if you are eligible, find your local programs, and learn more about Head Start.


Early Head Start: Early Head Start is a federal program that provides infants, toddlers under the age of 3, and pregnant women from low-income families with free comprehensive child development and family support services. Find out if you are eligible, find your local programs, and learn more about Early Head Start.


ECEAP: The Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) is Washington’s State’s comprehensive prekindergarten and family support program for 3- and 4-year old children from low-income families. Find out if you are eligible, find your local programs, and learn more about ECEAP.


Seattle Preschool Program: The Seattle Preschool Program offers voluntary, high-quality, affordable prekindergarten program for families of all incomes at local schools, community centers, and preschools. Find out if you are eligible, find your local programs, and learn more about the Seattle Preschool Program.


Where can I get more help searching for care or applying for child care assistance?

Child Care Aware of Washington is a nonprofit organization that supports parents and early learning and care providers and they have a phone support line where you can ask for help. Call the CCA of WA Family Center phone line to speak with a child care counselor/referral specialist at 1-800-446-1114. There are also 6 regional Child Care Aware offices where you can get support in your area.


What is the difference between a child care center, family child care, preschool/prekindergarten (PreK), parent co-op, daycare, and early learning/early childhood education?

Child Care Centers: Child care centers are for-profit or nonprofit businesses that offer care in classroom settings in a variety of places including commercial locations, schools, and religious institutions. Child care centers often care for a larger number of children and divide children into classrooms by age group.


Family Child Cares (FCC): Family child care is care provided for small, mixed-age groups offered in a provider’s home or other residential setting. Family child care can be known by a number of different names including family home child care, family child care home, licensed home child care, and in-home daycare.


Preschools/PreKs: Preschool usually means a program for children who are between 2.5-5 years old and prekindergarten (PreK) usually means a more academically oriented, curriculum-based program for children 2.5-5 years old. Many preschools and PreKs offer only half-day care during the school year but others offer full day care year round.


But here is where things get confusing. The terms preschool and PreK can mean different things to different providers and they can also be used interchangeably to mean the same thing. Any provider can call their program a preschool or PreK even if they also care for infants and toddlers. Preschools and PreKs can be stand-alone programs or they can be part of a child care center or family child care. Sometimes child care centers use both terms to refer to different age groups or classrooms, often preschool for the 2.5-4 ages and PreK for the 4-5 ages or the year right before kids enter kindergarten.


Parent/Preschool Cooperatives (Co-ops): A parent cooperative, often also known as a preschool co-op, is typically a community of like-minded families who organize and manage an early learning program that involves a trained early learning professional and depends on regular parent engagement. Co-ops are usually for families with 2.5-5 year old children but sometimes there are co-ops for younger children. Co-ops can be stand-alone programs or they can be affiliated with nonprofits, higher education institutions, or other community groups.


Early learning and early childhood education (ECE) are words that mean all the different types of care and education, with parents or child care professionals, that happen in the first five years of a child’s life. Daycare means the same thing as child care but most people who work in early learning and care fields no longer use the word daycare because it focuses on the time of day instead of the child.


Check out Child Care Aware and Childcare.gov to learn more about the differences between different kinds of child care programs. 


What should I be looking for or asking about when checking out providers?

Zero to Three, Child Care Aware, and the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) are all wonderful organizations that have good guides for families on how to look for quality in a program and what to look for or ask about on tours or classroom visits.


Provider FAQ

About DayHeart?

DayHeart is a modern mobile platform connecting families and early learning and care providers and programs. Built for both parents and providers, DayHeart is a place where early learning and care programs can market and advertise their services and availability and parents can search across all their options for the care that meets their family’s needs. Programs can be searched across a wide variety of filters including type of program, types of care, ages served, schedules, meal options, activities, philosophies and methodologies, and much more.


DayHeart provides free profiles for early learning, school-age, and after school programs so you can market your programs and parents can find out about you and what you offer. DayHeart’s in-depth provider profiles ask all the most common questions parents have so they can get the basic answers they need and you don’t have spend your valuable time answering the same questions over and over. DayHeart ask you to share a wide variety of details about your program, but most of them are optional. Add the details you want and skip the ones you don’t.


DayHeart created basic profiles for most of the early learning and school age care programs using publicly available data. If your program already has a profile, you can take control of it and add the details about your program that parents want to know. If your program doesn’t already have a profile, you can create one. 


You can also post any current or upcoming openings in your program by age group and schedule offered and get them immediately in front of parents searching for care in your area.


How much does DayHeart cost?

The DayHeart platform is 100% Free to providers and there is no cost to download the app. If your program already has a profile, you can take control of it and add the details about your program that parents want to know. If your program doesn’t already have a profile, you can make a request to have your program added.


During the beta test period, everything on DayHeart will be free to parents. After the beta test ends, searching your basic information will be free to parents and parents will need to sign up for a low-cost premium account to search more in-depth information about your programs and see your openings. Basic information about you that will continue to be free for parents includes: location, phone, email, website, program description, quality ratings, and whether you accept subsidy or offer public early learning programs for income-eligible families (Head Start, ECEAP, SPP).


What kinds of providers can have DayHeart profiles?

DayHeart only lists formal child care, preschool, and after school businesses, including child care centers, family child care providers, preschools, and after school or school-age care providers. DayHeart does not have listings for nannies or people who offer babysitting services.


In order to be listed on DayHeart a provider needs to either have a license to provide care by the Washington State Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) or if they aren’t required to have a DCYF license (license-exempt) they need to either have a business license with the state or be run by a qualifying nonprofit organization or public agency. For example, many school district developmental preschools or public PreK programs such as Head Start or Washington’s Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program (ECEAP) are not required to be licensed by DCYF.


How do I take control of my program’s profile?

If DayHeart already has a profile for your program, you can take control of your profile by creating an account with your email on either the app or the website. Most existing profiles are already linked to an email address. The email connected to your program’s profile will likely be either a general one on your website or the one listed on the state’s Child Care Check website.


You can create an account on the sign up page and enter your email address and choose a password. Your password must be at least 6 characters in length. Click “Create Account”. Then enter the verification code sent to you by email. Any program/s associated with the email address entered will be listed in your “Manage Programs” list.


Once you are logged in, you can update your profile in English, Somali or Spanish, upload photos and logos, and post current or future openings in your program.


If the email you enter is not recognized by DayHeart and you don’t see a “Manage Programs” button, you can search for your program by name and click the “Claim Profile” link in the top right corner which will send an email request to contact@dayheart.co. We will confirm your identity and update the email so you can take control of the profile.


What information does DayHeart share about my program?

DayHeart asks you to share a wide variety of information about your program in eight different categories, but almost everything is optional. Share the information you want about your program and skip the questions you don’t want to answer. The only required items are program name, licensing status, and your DCYF license number if you are a licensed provider.


The eight categories of details are:


  1. Contact Information: Basic contact and location details
  2. Program Basics: Information about the kind of care you provide including type of provider, licensing, quality rating, ages served, types of care offered, schedules, and hours
  3. Tuition and Fees: what you charge for your services and what discounts or financial assistance you offer
  4. Program Characteristics: The things that make your program special and the ways you support families and children including methodologies and philosophies, activities, religious affiliation, meal options, experience with children with disabilities, toilet training policies, materials and facility, accreditation, and union membership,
  5. Diversity: Information about the diversity of your program’s leadership, staff, and children
  6. Enrollment Process: Information about how families can enroll in your program
  7. Waitlist: Information about your waitlist
  8. Tours/Visits: Details about how and when to visit or tour your program.

You can also add current or upcoming openings in your program. Each opening added expires 30 days after the start date listed.


Does DayHeart verify information that providers add to their profiles?

For licensed providers, DayHeart will periodically check licensing status and quality rating with the state’s licensing database and will reach out to providers with claimed profiles on DayHeart if the information in the licensing database does not match what is shown on their profile. However, DayHeart does not verify the accuracy of any of the information on a provider’s profile.


Providers who manage their program’s DayHeart profile are bound by DayHeart’s Terms and Conditions which prohibits posting false or misleading information.


My program isn’t listed on DayHeart. How do I add it?

If your program isn’t yet listed on DayHeart and you would like it added, you can submit a request to have your program added to DayHeart by either (1) sending a request from within the app by clicking the “Add Your Program” link in the menu which will generate a request email you need to complete or (2) if you are using the DayHeart website, by following these instructions and sending an email request to to contact@dayheart.co.


Once DayHeart confirms your identity and that the program is a valid business, nonprofit, or public program in operation, your profile will be approved and published on DayHeart and you will be able to update it with all the details.


How do I fix incorrect information on my program's profile?
Sign up for a free account, log in, take control of your profile, and edit the information for your program.


Do I have to claim my program’s DayHeart profile?

No. You are under no obligation to claim or manage your program’s profile on DayHeart. If you choose not to manage your profile, DayHeart will continue to maintain a basic profile for your program based on publicly available information.


Our mission is to help providers and parents find each other so even if you don’t want to manage your DayHeart profile we still want to help parents learn about you with the limited information we have.


Can I hide the exact address of my program?

Yes. Many family child care providers don’t want the public to see their exact address. The default setting on DayHeart for all family child care providers is to hide your exact address and only show your city and zip code. The map function has a pin on your location, but the zoom function is disabled so people looking at your profile cannot zoom in to see your exact location.


Any program can opt to hide their address. But you should know that by choosing to hide your address you will make it more difficult for parents to decide if your location works for them.


To hide your address login in to your profile, click on “Manage Programs”, click on “Update Profile” on the program you want to edit, click on “Contact Information” and select “yes” on the hide address question and then proceed through the rest of the screens and click “Submit”. To unhide your address, simply answer “No” to the hide address question and then click through and “Submit”


Can I delete the DayHeart profile for my program or request my program be removed?

DayHeart uses publicly available data sources to create basic provider profiles to help parents discover all of their care options. If you don’t want to take over control your profile or use DayHeart, we will continue to maintain a basic profile for your program using publicly available information. DayHeart will only remove profiles for programs that have closed.


If you have claimed your profile but decide you no longer want to use DayHeart or manage your profile, you can request account cancellation by sending an email to contact@dayheart.co and DayHeart will cancel your account, delete any information you added, and the profile for your program will go back to a basic profile showing only publicly available information.


Please note that the information DayHeart has for your program may be incorrect or out of date and the only way to ensure that DayHeart has accurate information about your program is to claim and manage your DayHeart profile.


How do I add current or future openings in my program?

When you have current or future openings in your program, you can alert parents seeking care in your area by adding an opening.


  1. On your “My Programs” page, click “Manage Openings” under the program which has or will have the opening.
  2. Then click the plus sign “+” at the top right corner of the page which will take you to the “Create New Opening” page
  3. Select the correct age group/s for the opening. You can select multiple age groups if the opening could be for different ages: Infant (under 12 months or 1 year of age), Toddler (12-29 months or 1 – 2.5 years of age), Preschool/PreK (30-60 months or 2.5 – 5+ years of age, and/or School Age (5+)
  4. Select the different schedule options you offer for this opening (You can select multiple schedule options if different schedules are available): Full day program (More than 4 hours per day), Half day/Part day program (1-4 hours per day – am or pm programs), Full week program (5 days per week), and or Part week program (1-4 days per week)
  5. Enter the number of available openings for theage group(s) and schedules. Enter “1” if you have only 1 opening for the ages and schedules entered above. Only enter more than 1 if you have multiple openings for the exact same ages, schedules, and start dates. If you have additional openings for different age groups, schedules, or start dates, you need to create a separate opening listing for each one.
  6. Select the start date the opening(s) will be available. All listings will expire 30 days after the start date unless removed or the start date is updated. You can remove an active opening listing at any time if the opening has been filled.
  7. To edit an opening, click the pencil icon on thetop right corner of the opening. To delete an opening click the minus sign “-” at the bottom right corner of the opening.

    You will be sent an email 5 days prior to the expiration of a listing to remind you that the opening will expire and give you instructions on how to renew it.


Does DayHeart allow parents to provide reviews of providers?

No, DayHeart does not collect or publish parent reviews and we also don’t endorse or make any recommendations for or against any providers listed on DayHeart.


Parents will be able to share your DayHeart profile through social media to get opinions and recommendations from people in their networks and communities. Parents will also be able to access your licensing history or Early Achievers rating If you are a licensed or participating in Early Achievers.


What are the responsibilities of my program to accept or serve children with disabilities?

Most early learning and care programs must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which says that providers cannot exclude children simply because of a disability. The ADA requires that early learning and care providers make reasonable modifications in order to serve a child with disabilities unless doing so would “pose an undue hardship,” “constitute a fundamental alteration of the program,” or “pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.”


Privately-run programs, including nonprofit programs and family child care providers, are covered under Title III of the ADA. Programs run by government agencies are covered under Title II of the ADA. Providers run by religious entities (i.e. churches, mosques, synagogues, etc.) are not required to comply with the ADA. However, privately-run providers that are operating on the premises of a religious organization, but are not operated by the religious organization itself are NOT exempt from the ADA.


To learn more about the law and your responsibilities check out US Department of Justice ADA Child Care Q&A, the Early Childhood Technical Assistance (ECTA) Center, and Child Care Law Center.


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