The Division of Child Development has compiled the following list of questions and issues that you may want to discuss with a potential child care provider. The Division recommends that parents make multiple visits to facilities to gain a first hand knowledge of the child care program.
Planning for the Visit
In preparation for this visit, you should take a checklist with you to remind you of things to look for, and to record your observations. If you have additional questions, add them to the checklist. You should call the program in advance to arrange a convenient time for your visit. If appropriate, take your child along and observe their reaction to the program.
A checklist of important items to consider has been provided below. Print this checklist and use it as a guide and worksheet as you interview each child care provider.
Visiting the Program:
During the visit remember that you are the consumer, and you have the right to ask as many questions as you want. Before making your decision about a child care provider you should visit several facilities. Compare the results of the checklists to determine the best suited program for your child. The more you know, the easier your decision will be, and the more comfortable you will feel making it.
Because parents are in a child care program each day, they have the best knowledge of what the provider is, or is not doing. Children need for parents to constantly assess the child care arrangement. Here are some proactive ways parents can evaluate child care providers on an ongoing basis:
- Ask your child what he or she does during the day
- Find out how he or she interacts with the caregiver. Listen carefully to what your child says
- Spend a few minutes each day talking with the caregiver about your child
- Drop in frequently and participate in activities
- Observe behavior during drop-off and pick-up, and explore unexplained changes