When choosing a child care center or home, there are considerations you should think about. Visit the center or home you are considering choosing to find answers to the following questions:
How many children are in the group?
Is the group small enough for your child to feel comfortable and safe? In general, the smaller the group the better.
How many children are there for each teacher?
Are there enough staff members to care for the children? Will your child get the attention he or she needs?
Is there family involvement?
Does the provider or the teacher keep parents informed about what their children do? Does this happen daily or at least weekly? Does the provider have a conference with each child’s parents at least once a year? Are there planned outings in which parents can volunteer to help and attend? Are you allowed to drop in unannounced at any time?
What is the caregiver’s education and experience?
Ask about caregivers’ training and education. Are they involved in activities that will improve their skills? Check how long caregivers have been working at the center or home you are interested in choosing. Caregivers who come and go make it hard for your child to adjust.
Does the child care have health and safety measures in place?
Your child’s well being is important. When visiting child care sites ask the following: Is there careful supervision of children? Does the caregiver have an emergency plan in place? Does the caregiver serve nutritious food? Does the center or home have a clean indoor and outdoor environment? Are the electrical outlets that are accessible to children capped?
Is their quality of care greater than the State’s minimum standards?
Some providers voluntarily choose to implement standards for child care that are higher than the state’s licensing requirements. Find out if the child care provider you are interested in choosing has obtained any certifications or accreditations by a national organization.