Questions to Ask When Looking for a Daycare

By: Christine Groth

Questions to Ask a Day Care

A lot of you out there are really wondering what kind of “educated" questions you should be asking when choosing the right daycare for your child. It’s probably one of the most important decisions you will make, making the wrong choice for your child could amount to a inconvenience or a life threatening disaster.

There are many questions to ask a daycare, and over the years I’ve met all kinds of mothers . Some of which are very organized in their search and others who are not sure of what they want. I’m here today to help you make some choices and hopefully give you a better understanding of what the child care profession is all about.

First of all, you need to decide whether you wish to attend a family childcare or a group childcare. Each type of daycare has it’s own set-up and arrangements. Here’s a brief summary:

• Family child care normally has one caregiver who is the owner of the childcare. There is no teacher turnover, and the environment tends to be small with a variety of ages present together in one environment. A family childcare center is usually out of the providers home. Sometimes in a basement, or separate room in their house, or perhaps the second level in a home.

• Each family daycare has its own set of rules, and regulations. When choosing a provider be sure to understand what his/her policies are.

• When choosing a family daycare, your relationship (based on trust) is primarily with one provider.

• Sickness is usually less than at group childcares. Less children=less sickness.

• Group centers have all children separated according to age. For example all babies are in one room, toddlers in another, etc.

• Group centers tend to have a professional environment. Bright lighening, commercial equipment. Family daycare’s are based in a home like environment.

• Group centers may or may not have large enrollements. Some group centers are small with 20 or more children and others may have enrollment of 250 children.

• Group centers may or may not have consistant providers. Depending on age groups, staffing issues, etc.

• Group centers are directed by “directors". The director staffs all rooms, is supervisor for the teachers, and oversees all problems that may arise.

• Groups centers can involve well known corportations. Kindercare, Children’s World, La Petite, to name a few.

Those are just a few distinctions between the two types of choices you may have. It’s up to you to decide which one you feel most comfortable with. Once you decide, then you can go from there in choosing the right group center or family day care.

Here are some questions to ask a daycare:

1. For each childcare that you visit be sure to bring a pad of paper and pencil to write down your notes, questions, feelings.

2. When looking for a childcare centers to visit, ask for recommendations from your friends, call your local resource and referral agency ( number located under childcare in phone book), listings in your newspaper, phone book, bulletin boards in your community, local schools.

3. Don’t base your thoughts about a childcare over a phone conversation. Give the center a chance by visiting them and meeting those who work there.

4. Collect all information regarding policies for a center. Make sure you are aware of all rules, and regulations.

5. Rely on your gut feeling. If you feel that you would not be happy, chances are your relationship would not work out in the long run.

6. Check any reports that are posted from the licensing bureau. Find out what infractions the center has received.

7. What are their emergency polices?

8. Do children look happy? Is the environment clean? It’s ok to have toys laying around, but are those toys sanitized each week to prevent sickness.

9. Who will be taking care of your child? And what happens if that person becomes ill?

10. What if my child become’s ill? What is your policy?

11. What type’s of accidents have you had where you have had to call the parent?

12. How many years have you been in childcare? Are you licensed? What is your education? What types of classes have you taken for child care in the past year? Are you CPR certified?

13. How long have your current children been enrolled here?

14. Do you provide references from parents?

15. And most of all do you trust that provider? Do you feel that the provider is loving, level headed, energetic, and generally loves all children?

16. Do you see children’s art work on the walls?

Most of all take your time making a decision, and don’t base your decision on price, fancy equipment, and convenience.

Your choice should be based on finding a provider who especially loves children.

Blessings To You,

Christine Groth


(c) CG Groth Inc.

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