Evaluate a Potential Child Care Provider

Questions to Ask

  • What types of training and experience do you have? Does this include training on working with children with special needs?
  • Can you please provide me with some references from other parents?

Health and Safety

  • What is your adult-to-child ratio?
  • What happens if my child becomes ill or needs medication?
  • What is your disaster plan in case of emergencies?

Program and Environment

  • Is your program licensed and/or accredited?
  • What would my child's daily routine be like?
  • How do you include children with special needs in activities and everyday routines?
  • What opportunities do I have as a parent to be involved?

Policies

  • What are your fees? When are they due? Are there any additional fees I should know about?
  • Do you have written policies and procedures (ie. holiday, illness, vacation)?

Things to notice during your visit:

Environment

  • Is the provider warm and welcoming?
  • Are the adults respectful of children as well as each other?
  • Does the provider seem to enjoy being with the children?
  • Do you feel comfortable with the provider?

Health & Safety

  • Are the children supervised at all times, including when they are sleeping?
  • Has the environment been child proofed for safety (ie. smoke detectors, radiator covers, electrical safety caps, and dangerous items or substances removed)?

Program

  • Can children choose from activities that include indoor/outdoor, quiet/active, group/individual play?
  • Are there plenty of materials and a variety of items to play with?
  • How are children with special needs included in activities and routines?

Policies

  • Are the policies and procedures written or posted?
  • Is a child care license posted?
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