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Questions to Ask When Evaluating Daycares and Preschools

by Work It, Mom! Team  |  11581 views  |  0 comments  |      Rate this now! 

Looking for a daycare center or preschool for your child? These great articles from Work It Mom member MaryP, an in-home daycare provider, will help you decide what type of care is right for your child and how to evaluate different kinds of caregivers. Once you've figured out what kind of childcare you want, here are a few questions to ask:

For all childcare providers:

  1. How the caregivers are trained?
  2. Do they receive or pursue ongoing education?
  3. What is the staff turnover like?
  4. How do they handle behavioral issues and discipline?
  5. How do they deal with crying infants?
  6. Can you observe the classroom or center before you make your decision?
  7. What kind of food do they serve and can they provide a menu?
  8. Can they accommodate your child's specific dietary needs, if any?
  9. Will they provide a criminal background check for staff? (In some jurisdictions, this is required by law; in others, it's optional. You always have the right to request one.)
  10. What are the rates and fees?
  11. How do you make payments? (Weekly? Monthly? Credit card? Direct withdrawal?)
  12. Is the school or center open on National holidays?

For in-home daycares:

  1. Is there an open-door policy and can parents drop in unannounced?
  2. How long has she been providing care?
  3. Is she monitored in any way? If there are inspections, how often and who performs them?
  4. How many other children are in her care, and what are their ages?
  5. What's the maximum number of children in her care at any one time?
  6. Is she at capacity already?
  7. What does a typical day look like?
  8. Who else will be in house during business hours?
  9. Any smokers in the house? If so, are there restrictions on where they smoke?
  10. Does she have First Aid and CPR training? When was she last re-certified?
  11. Does she provide a contract?
  12. Will she provide references from current and past clients?
  13. Can you visually inspect sleeping areas, changing areas, and play areas?
  14. How will she transport the kids?
  15. Are there pets on the premises?
  16. Do the kids watch television while in her care?

For daycare centers and preschools:

  1. What are the staff-to-child ratios?
  2. What is the rate of staff turnover?
  3. Are the staff members certified in early childhood education?
  4. Do the staff members have First Aid and CPR training? How often do they re-train?
  5. Do the kids go off the premises at all? How often?
  6. Do they mix the age-groups?
  7. Is there a formal curriculum?
  8. Is there a contract?
  9. Can you visually inspect sleeping areas, changing areas, and play areas?

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