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I have points that represent day care centers which have address and lat-long. I am using lat-long to display. Now I need to sort, count, etc. these points in conjunction with new census data. To be able to match, I need to get the census tract written into a new field for each point.

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That sounds like a pretty simple "Spatial Join" operation in ArcGIS.

http://webhelp.esri.com/arcgiSDEsktop/9.3/index.cfm?TopicName=Spatial_Join_%28Analysis%29

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