Finding the Right Childcare
We understand that choosing an early care and education provider is a difficult decision. While we would like nothing more than to be your first choice, we want you to make the best decision for your child. Here are some questions every family should ask when searching for a provider:
- What opportunities do you have to interact with your child’s teacher?
- What are the visitation policies? Can you check in on your child whenever you want?
- Are parents encouraged to work with the center on positive discipline techniques?
- Do the hours and vacation schedule fit your needs?
- Do classrooms have observation windows so you can easily see what’s going on?
- Is the tuition and payment schedule manageable for you?
- How does the center report and document incidents? Will you be informed if something happens to your child?
- What are the safety, health, and fire policies and procedures?
- What other licensing regulations do they follow?
- Is the environment and activities appropriate for your child’s developmental needs?
- Do older and younger children have separate, age appropriate playgrounds?
- Are the rooms designed for interest centers, such as dramatic play, creative movement and music, manipulative materials, storytelling, motor activity and coordination, and art?
- Are both equipment and environment bright, clean, safe, child-oriented, and invites you to be a child in this environment?
- Try to find a child similar in personality and behavior to your own child and follow that child through the classroom. Is that child secure, happy, comfortable, and challenged?
- Do the children interact positively with each other?
- Is the daily schedule planned and posted in your child’s classroom?
- Is the resting schedule reasonable?
- Does the teacher appear to be skillful at group management and is the group size manageable?
- Is the flow of activities determined by the interests and attention spans of the children?
- Are the children aware of the routine so they can feel comfortable with what’s happening next?
- Is there an appropriate balance between free choice/free play and teacher planned/structure activities for the children in each classroom?
- Are various activities designed to encourage curiosity and exploration?
- Are the activities designed to develop language skills, readiness concepts, eye and hand coordination, physical coordination, and manual dexterity?
Teaching & Staff
- Are the teachers trained and/or experienced in early childhood and do they continue their training throughout the year?
- Is there a teacher in each classroom trained in first aid or infant CPR?
- Do the teachers seem happy, enthusiastic, and resourceful?
- Does the staff appear to work well together for the benefit of the children in their care?
- Does the teaching staff remain fairly stable/consistent so your child is comfortable with them?
- If any of the children are frustrated with an activity, does the teacher attempt to help relieve it?
- Do the teachers interact with the children in a pleasant and positive manner?