Choosing a child care provider is one of the more important decisions you will make for your child. ISU Child Care and Family Services provides expertise and guidance as you explore your child care options. Whether you are looking for information about the types of child care, licensing standards, or quality measures, we are confident we can help.

Send us your child care questions and a member of our team will be happy to assist.


Campus Child Care Services

Iowa State University has three campus child care centers, each of which has achieved and maintains the highest levels of quality. Our centers are accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and participate in Iowa Quality 4 Kids (IQ4K), Iowa's voluntary quality rating and improvement program. 

We encourage families to tour and interview many child care programs before making a decision. Use the links below to explore what our campus child centers have to offer!

Child Development Laboratory School

4380 Palmer Building, Ste. 035 | (515) 294-3040

Interim Director: Heather Bruno

Ages: Infants through preschool

Hours: 7:30am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday

ISU Child Care Center at Veterinary Medicine

1520 Christensen Drive | (515) 294-2273

Director: Angela Adams

Ages: Infants through preschool

Hours: 7:00am-6:00pm, Monday-Friday

University Community Childcare

2623 Bruner Drive | (515) 294-9838

Director: Stacy Lehman

Ages: Infants through school-age

Hours: 7:00am-5:30pm, Monday-Friday


Off-Campus Child Care Resources and Services

Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral

Looking for a list of child care programs with openings? Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral (CCR&R) is a statewide agency that helps parents take the guesswork out of choosing care by providing FREE, non-biased, and customized referrals to local child care providers. Referrals are provided so that parents can look into all of their options and find the child care arrangements that best meet the needs of their family. Parent Referral Specialists are available Monday through Friday, 8:00AM – 4:30PM by calling (855) 244-5301. Families can also conduct their own child care search online 24/7.

Child Care Provider Search (Iowa Department of Health and Human Services)

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the agency which provides oversight to licensed and registered child care programs in the state of Iowa. On their website, you can search for licensed and registered child care programs in your area, based upon a variety of criteria. 

Child Care Compliance Reports (Iowa Department of Health and Human Services)

The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services is required to make child care program compliance and complaint reports available to the public. 

Back-Up or Occasional Caregivers

Resources and information about back-up care options.

Additional School-Age Care Options

Camps and programs specifically for school-age children.


Tools and Resources

Use the following tools, guides, and checklists to help you make the best decision for your child and your family.

Guide to Choosing Quality Child Care

A detailed guide to Iowa's child care system from Iowa Child Care Resource & Referral.

Starting Your Child Care Search

An overview of the process of choosing a child care provider, published by Child Care Aware of America.

Selecting a Child Care Program

Checklists to help you organize information and make the best decision for your child from Child Care Aware of America.

Budgeting for Child Care

Tips and tools to help you plan for this major expense, published by Child Care Aware of America.