Questions to Ask a Daycare Provider
When it comes to finding a daycare provider for your child(ren), it may seem like a rather overwhelming process. You want a place that will take great care of your child(ren), has excellent staff, and hours that work with your schedule. It also needs to be convenient to your home or work and fit within your budget.
If you’re starting to look for someone to watch your child(ren) or looking to make a switch, you definitely want to do your research. Whether you are choosing in-home childcare or a larger-scale daycare, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions. Not sure where to begin? Use these questions as a starting point.
- Does your daycare have a philosophy on childcare? If yes, what is it based on?
- How many children attend this daycare? How many staff members do you have? What is the child to staff ratio for the different age groups?
- Do I need to provide my child with meals? Or, do you provide meals and snacks for the kids? How do you deal with allergies in the daycare?
- What about babies and bottles? Can I bring in canisters of formula? Does breast milk need to be frozen?
- Does your daycare allow the use of cloth diapers, or must they be disposable?
- Could you tell me what a typical day looks like for my child? Are there structured activities for the kids? Do they play outside? Are there field trips?
- If my child experiences bullying, how do you handle that? How do you deal with discipline problems? Or behavioral issues?
- Am I free to drop by and see my child during the day?
- Do you have a policy for visitors? What kind of security is in place?
- What if I am late to pick up my child? Is there a charge for being late?
- How do you handle vacations or illness?
- If a child is sick, when can he/she return? Are vaccinations mandatory for children in this daycare?
- Do you sanitize toys, desks, chairs, etc. often?
- Is there currently a waitlist for this daycare?
- What is the tuition? Are there any registration fees? Do you have any discounts if we have multiple children in daycare here?
- Could you tell me about your staff? Do they all possess degrees or certifications? If yes, what are they?
- Do you put all of your employees through background checks?
- Is everyone who works here CPR and first aid certified?
- Is your staff happy here? Do you have a high rate of turnover?
- Do you have a nurse on staff? Is there someone who can give my child medicine if needed?
- How do you communicate with parents? Is there daily or weekly reports?
- Do you post pictures of the daycare children on social media?
- Are you licensed by the state?
- Do you have references available?
- Do you do before and after school care? If yes, how do the children get here?
The best possible scenario would be that the daycare provider has a handout with most of these questions covered for you. But, that may not be the case. You can always ask if you can observe for a while the kids and staff that your child will be interacting with and, of course, listen to your instincts. Good or bad – they may give you a feel about the place.
The important thing is to make sure that the facility is 100% transparent with you. Take your time, ask the questions, and make sure it’s a good fit for everyone. You and your child will be happier for it.