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Questions To Ask When Choosing a Daycare

I don’t go back to work until the end of August, but if you have ever been in this situation before, then you know it’s good to start searching for daycares now. I know some families that even start before their little one has arrived just to make sure they are put on a waiting list that they want.

Dana and I so far have really lucked out with our search and found a lady directly across the street from us that runs her own home daycare. We have been in touch with her a few times and usually see her throughout the day and she seems like a wonderful lady. Next week when we meet with her in her home, I hope that we love what we see and get some questions answered for ourselves.

Here are some questions that my husband and I have come up with and researched that we feel are important to us.

1. How long have you been in business / how long have you been providing childcare? Do you have formal training or schooling?

2. How many children do you take care of at once?

3. What are your days and hours of operation?

4. What is your holiday schedule? Are we entitled to any holidays without having to pay you?

5. Are you flexible with pickup and drop-off times? If not, is there a late pickup fee?

6. What are your fees and do you offer a sibling discount?

7. Do I have to pay if my child is ill or if we are on vacation?

8. When and how do you bill us? Will you provide us with receipts?

9. What do you supply? For example; Diapers, food, drinks?

10. What do I need to bring for my child?

11. We cloth diaper. Will this be a problem while our child is in your care?

12. How do you discipline children?

13. How do you comfort children?

14. Do you have CPR and First Aid?

15. Do you have any assistants?

16. What activities do you like to do with the children? Are they age appropriate?

17. Do you have a childproof and comfortable indoor and outdoor play area for children to explore and learn?

18. Do children have outdoor playtime?

19. What is your sick-child policy?

20. Will you give medication to my child throughout the day if it is ever needed?

21. Do you allow smoking in your house?

22. Are hands washed after changing diapers and before feeding children?

23. Are the older children taught to wash their hands after using the toilet?

24. Who is able to pick up my child? Do you have a release policy?

25. Do you provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks? If so, what kind? My child is gluten free. Will I have to provide my own meals?

26. Do you feed babies on a schedule or on demand?

27. Where do the children sleep and do you have a naptime schedule?

28. Do you place babies on their back to sleep and follow all other safe sleeping procedures to reduce the risk of SIDS?

29. How do you communicate with parents? Do you provide a daily report?

30. What will my child be doing on any given day? Do you have a specific schedule?

Here are also some questions you should ask yourself and discuss with your significant other after the meeting.

1. Did the children seem happy and having fun?

2. Are upset and crying children responded to immediately?

3. Do they talk to the children? Cuddle them? Speak to them in a caring voice?

4. Is the home clean and welcoming?

5. Is the bathroom clean and does it encourage your child to learn and use it?

6. Are there safety gates in place, first aid kits, fire extinguishers and plugs in electrical outlets?

7. Most importantly, will you feel calm and at ease knowing where your child is? Trust your gut on this one.

I am a little anxious to go next week. Mostly because at this point, I can’t even begin to think of leaving Isla with someone for 8 hours a day. It just seems crazy to be away from her for that long! We will keep you posted on how our search goes.

Do you have any tips for us? Questions that you feel are important that I may be forgetting? Any advice would be great.

Thanks for reading.

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Gary Birtles
    January 1, 2015 at 3:56 am

    Something else I think is important is to visit the daycare a few times to get a more accurate idea of how it runs. Sometimes it takes multiple visits to really see what a day care is like. It can sometime be a hassle, but it is worth it for my kids.

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