Questions Every Parent Should Ask Before Choosing a Day Care

Daycare 315

Home Center
• Does the center meet higher than minimal standards by having a 3- to 5-star rated license or a national accreditation through the National Association of Family Child Care?
• Is the child-care provider sensitive and responsive to the needs of each child enrolled?
• Does the child-care provider regularly participate in training opportunities, CPR and first aid?
• Does the child-care provider see himself/herself as a child-care professional?
• Does the child-care provider have planned activities for the children?
• Does the child-care provider have written policies and procedures for parents?
• Does the child-care provider have a credential or degree in early childhood education, child development or a related field?
• Are parents always welcome in the home?
• Does the child-care provider participate in a child-care association or other professional association?
• Are there lots of materials and activities, such as blocks, puzzles and art supplies available for the children to explore?
• Does the provider have lots of experience and references from families who have used his/her services?

Child-Care Center
• Do teachers have credentials and degrees in early-childhood education or child development?
• Are teachers who do not have credentials or degrees taking college courses to earn them?
• Are there low child/teacher ratios so that children can receive lots of individual attention all day?
• Is the center director an experienced child-care administrator with formal education in early-childhood education and child-care administration?
• Does the center have low turnover of teachers — less than 20 percent each year?
• Does the center meet higher than minimal licensure standards by either having a 3- to 5-star rated license or a national accreditation through the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)?
• Are the teachers well paid and receiving benefits?
• Do parents have an opportunity to be involved in the center as volunteers in the classroom and on an advisory committee or board?
• Do teachers wash their hands often and help the children wash their hands?
• Are there lots of materials and activities, such as blocks, puzzles and art supplies available for the children to explore all day long?

Karen Alley is a freelance writer and editor living in Elkin.