In the first five years of life, your child's brain develops faster than any other time in their life. In fact, more than one million new neural connections are formed every second. By age five, 90% of their brain has developed. The experiences your child has during this period will have a lasting impact. That's what makes high quality early childhood experiences so important. Research shows that children who have access to high quality early childhood experiences do better in school, make healthier choices, and are more likely to graduate and find employment.

Choosing an Early Childhood Program

Choosing an early childhood program is an important decision. Bright & Early ND can help. We help families, just like you, by identifying high quality early childhood programs that offer what your child needs to thrive. You deserve to know your child is in a quality care environment that promotes play and learning, supports development, and fosters relationships amongst children.

Bright & Early ND does the legwork for you by rating programs, across the state, based on specific standards that define quality. Our quality standards focus on what your child needs to learn, grow and develop during this stage of life. It's an objective system that values safe, healthy and enriching environments, meaningful learning experiences, and caregivers that are educated and well-trained.

Bright & Early ND Framework

Bright & Early ND uses a block system approach which includes four levels, or steps, to quality. Each step focuses on a component of quality care and must be demonstrated by the early childhood program before moving to the next step. 

Bright & Early ND Quality Ratings are reliable and easy to understand. Look for the Bright & Early ND Quality Rating symbols to spot an early childhood program that is going above and beyond for the children in their care.


Locate a Quality Rated Program

Use the Health & Human services free online child care search tool to locate a Bright & Early ND Quality Rated program. Get customized results by adjusting criteria like location, hours of operation, and ages served.

Locate a Quality Rated Program


Questions? Contact Us

Early Childhood Section
600 E. Boulevard Avenue, Dept. 325
Bismarck, ND 58505-0250

Phone: (701) 328-2115
Toll-Free: (800) 997-8516
Relay ND TTY: 711

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