Some considerations before choosing a child care center or family home for your child.

  • Ask yourself if your child would be safe and content there.
  • Look for clean and safe areas, free of clutter or potential safety hazards.
  • Is the outdoor area safe and fenced?
  • Is there a fire escape plan posted?
  • Do they have a natural disaster plan?
  • Request to see the providers license and investigative reports for the last 3 years.
  • Does the provider take pride in his/her business?
  • Does the provider understand the stages and development of young children?
  • Is the center/home accredited or participating in Early Achievers?
  • Do teachers/caregivers receive ongoing education and training?
  • Don’t forget to interview the teachers/caregivers who will be caring for your child most of the time, in addition to the Director and administrative staff.
  • Does the provider communicate regularly with the parents about their child’s day?
  • Does the provider welcome input and respect your family’s values and culture?
  • Are you comfortable with their discipline policy?
  • Do the teachers/caregivers encourage language, social and problem solving skills when talking with children in a group setting?
  • Do the children appear to be happy and engaged in age appropriate activities?
  • Is there a variety of choices and activities for the children?
  • Would your child adjust to the size and make up of the group?
  • Do you see pictures, books, et cetera, that reflect your family’s culture?
  • Research has shown that the quality of the adult caregiver/teacher’s interaction with the children can make all the difference in the quality of a child’s experiences in childcare.
  • Does the teacher/caregiver directly talk with the children in a caring, attentive way that encourages learning?
  • Does the program prepare your child for new transitions like kindergarten or a new classroom?
  • Be sure to review the parent handbook; a requirement for state licensing and should include: Admission/enrollment procedures, hours, rates, meals and snaks, disciplinary philosophy, medical and emergency procedures, supplies, absences, illness and vacation policy.