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Selecting the Right Center

Searching for the right caregiver is stressful, but finding the right fit can also be rewarding for your family. The right center gives you the peace of mind that your child is learning, growing and having fun.

We've answered thousands of questions from families over our 40 years. Expand a section below for some questions to consider while evaluating child care centers:

Questions to Ask Potential Child Care Centers

Staff

  • Does staff communicate daily with parents about their child’s progress?
  • Do children receive individual attention?
  • Is staff respectful of children and parents?
  • Does staff appear lively, smiling and interacting in a positive manner with children?
  • What is the teacher-to-child ratio?

Safety

  • Does the facility appear orderly and clean?
  • Are there age-appropriate toys in the classrooms?
  • Are hazardous materials locked away?
  • Is there an emergency plan and is it posted?
  • Are there security measures in place?
  • Is there a policy for sick children and other circumstances?

Children

  • Do the children have a consistent routine that they can understand and follow?
  • Do the children seem occupied and engaged?
  • Is there a policy on discipline?
  • Do the children seem happy and excited?

Feelings

  • Is your initial reaction a positive one?
  • Is this a place my child would enjoy?
  • Would my child be safe here?
  • Would I/we feel comfortable using this program?
  • Would my child learn new things every day at this program?

Other questions to consider

  • May I visit any time?
  • How do you handle discipline?
  • What would you do in case of emergency?
  • Are all children required to be immunized and does staff have physical examinations?
  • May I see a copy of your license or other certification?
  • Do you have a substitute or back-up care giver?
  • May I have a list of parents who have used your care (current and/or former)?
  • Where do children nap, and how do you put babies down to sleep?