Choosing good child care is one of the most important decisions you'll make. Use this checklist to be sure you've picked a provider that offers quality care.
When visiting a child-care facility, ask your host the following questions:
____ Is the center licensed or registered with the local government? If so, may I please see a copy of the latest inspection report?
____ Can I visit the center during operating hours before registering my child in the program?
____ Can I examine all the areas my child will use?
____ Once my child is registered, will I be able to visit at any time?
____ Is there a written daily schedule that includes active play, quiet play, rest time, and snacks and meals?
____ Are there regular opportunities for indoor and outdoor play, and are children supervised at all times?
____ Is TV viewing limited to short times and appropriate programming?
____ Does the center offer parenting classes or other family support?
____ Is each child assigned to one caregiver who is primarily responsible for her care?
____ Does the caregiver meet with parents regularly?
____ Is there a written policy about discipline? If so, may I please read it?
____ Is smoking banned from the facility?
____ Are there written policies for the care of ill children that include the responsibilities of the parents?
____ Will the caregivers give prescribed medication to my child?
____ Is there a pediatrician or a nurse who serves as a consultant for the program?
____ Do staff members have training in child development and in providing a learning environment for children?
____ Have staff members received up-to-date first-aid training and CPR training?
____ How long have the caregivers been working there?
____ Are there arrangements if a caregiver gets sick or has to be away?
____ May I get recommendations from parents whose children are currently in the program?