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your decision about a child care provider, visit several facilities. The more you
know, the easier your decision and the more comfortable you will feel making it.
CareGuide has compiled the following questions and issues that you may want to discuss
with a potential child care provider. Before an interview, print out the checklist
and take it with you. If you have additional questions, add them to the list.
Remember, you are the parent and you have the right to ask as many questions as you
want. In addition to your interviews and instinct, listen to your child's opinions
and feelings. They are equally important in your child care decision.
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- Does the center take your needs
into consideration? Is the staff accommodating and flexible?
- What are the hours of
- How long has the facility been
- How many children is the
facility licensed to provide for?
- What is the philosophy of the
center or home?
- Does the facility allow
non-toilet trained children?
- Does the facility serve meals?
Are they hot meals or snacks? Are they well balanced and nutritious?
- Does the facility charge for
sick days or when the child is on vacation? Does the provider close for holidays and if so
- What is the facilities policy
on sick children?
- What supplies/equipment does
the facility provide and what is the parent expected to provide?
- Does the facility offer
transportation? Is it safe and reliable?
- Is your participation and
- Do the children at the facility
- Did your child feel comfortable
during your visit?
- Did she/he like the other
- Does she/he think it would be
fun to go there?
- Is there a feeling of belonging
at the facility?
- Does the environment seem
- Would you enjoy spending your
day in this environment?
- How is the lighting and
- Are safe, sanitary, hygienic
- Are there several toilets and
wash facilities available and are children encouraged to wash their hands?
- Where do children nap?
- Is there an outdoor area that
is safe to play in?
- Is there space for running
about freely for active play and still other space where quiet play may go on undisturbed,
both indoors and out?
- Observe the interaction between
the providers and the children - Does the staff seem happy and attentive to the children?
Do they instill confidence in the children?
- Do the children get
- How does the staff physically
handle the children?
- Are the providers the kind of
people you would enjoy being with outside of the facility setting?
- How capable do the providers
seem at being able to resolve conflicts between children?
- How long has the staff been
working at the facility (average tenure of staff)?
- What is the staff-child ratio?
- Does the classroom staff have
experience and skills in child-care methods and developmental learning?
- Are your questions, comments
and visits welcome?
- Does the center have strict
procedures for hiring caregivers?
- Are applicants interviewed by
management, fingerprinted when required by state law and required to take a medical exam
in compliance with state licensing regulations? Are background checks and written
- What is the emphasis of the
activities? To have fun? To learn? Both?
- Are the learning programs
designed for each age group?
- Are the educational programs
designed to prepare a child for primary education?
- Do the activities emphasize
physical fitness as well as mental development?
- How big are the activity
- How noisy is it?
- Are the activities the kind
your child enjoys?
- Are the toys used in the
activities safe and appropriate for the children's ages?
- Do the children have sufficient
- Will the children be watching
television? Is so, what programs and how much time each day?
- What is the exact arrangement
- When are the fees due?
- Is there a charge if you pick
your child up late?
- How much notice is required for
your child to leave the facility?
- Does the facility provide
- Does the facility accept
- Does the facility provide
receipts for income tax credits?
- Can you take a copy of the
contract home in order to study it?
- How is the facility set up to
- What are the procedures for
- Is the staff CPR and First Aid
- Which hospital are they
- Is the staff prepared or
trained for possible allergic reactions or other special needs?