Once you've identified your needs and style of care best for your family, it's time to do your homework.
One of the best resources for finding child care is word of mouth. Chat up your friends and other parents to see what they do for child care and how it works for them. In some instances, you might find that a referral can get you into a day care center quicker -- isn't it always who you know?
Online resources and referral agencies are also helpful. The National Association of Family Child Care (NAFCC) and National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) both offer guidelines for finding accredited care, and the NAEYC has a searchable online database of accredited programs by location.