Does the person who will be caring for your child regularly participate in trainings?
It is important that the provider have knowledge of CPR and first aide and that they participate in early childhood education training through the CCRR, colleges courses or other community programs.
How long has the caregiver been in the same program or providing child care in the home?
Consistency is very important to a child and they benefit from caregivers who have experience and stability.
Are just a few children being cared for by one caregiver?
Child care centers have set ratios for children to caregivers and Family Child Care Providers can care for no more than five children at one time.
If you are considering a more formal child care program, is it nationally accredited, and is it state licensed or registered?
The CCRR only refers to licensed child care centers and registered Family Child Care Providers. Accreditation is a voluntary process undertaken by providers to raise the quality of their program.
Does the caregiver welcome drop-in visits and parent ideas and involvement?
As long as you child is in care you should be welcome to drop-in unannounced at a child care program.
Does the caregiver get on the children's eye level, and give them lots of attention and encouragement?
Children should be treated as individuals; they should be talked to with respect and listened to with interest.
Are there well-planned activities for children to do as well as lots of time for free play?
Children thrive on continuity, they learn through planned experiences and play is their job. Providers should have daily planned activities, free play, rest time and outdoor activities.
Are materials- such as books, blocks, toys, and art supplies- available to children all day long?
Materials and equipment should be within reach of children, should be age-appropriate, should be safe and creative play should be encouraged.
Is the program clean and safe, and is hand washing and other safety procedures a regular part of each day?
Health and safety procedures are an important part of a child care program. A child care program should be able to tell parents what their policies are concerning health and safety.
Does the caregiver have written policies and procedures, including emergency plans?
Ask you caregiver is they have written policies and procedures for issues like fire drills, contacting parents in an emergency, vacation, fees, etc.
Does the caregiver have references?
A child care program or provider should be able to provide you with personal or professional references and you should contact these references.
Finally, trust your instincts. You know your child and you know where they will be happiest. Ask a provider if they would allow you to bring you child to the program for a day and see how they fit in.