Finding a safe and stimulating daycare for your child may seem like a daunting task, however, a list of basic questions can get you on your way. What questions should you ask? Resources for childcare checklists are abundant and many parenting Web sites offer great ideas for questions to ask potential childcare providers.
But don’t stop there. Customizing your interview questions to reflect your priorities, along with your child’s unique needs, will give you the best chance at finding the right childcare for your family. Armed with the proper information, you can find the best environment to help your child grow socially, emotionally and physically.
Here are four sources for ready-made checklists:
Cover the Basics
If one of these lists, or a combination of lists, serves your needs, then you’re set. But, make sure you leave the childcare interview with a clear understanding on these points:
Get the Key Points
Pose questions to cover these essential topics:
Consider Adding These Questions to Your List:
Whether you are looking for a specific religious emphasis or looking for a nonsectarian setting, a center’s religious affinity might not be clearly stated, so ask:
Beyond Basic Safety
Delve into how prepared the provider is for dealing with the unexpected:
Healthy Food Choices
In this age of obesity and heightened allergy concerns, question the dietary options your child will be offered:
While your child’s care needs should be of utmost importance when selecting a provider, you, too, must feel secure with the choice. Take your time in compiling the right questions for your child — and your own piece of mind — then carefully interview care providers and check references.
Finally...Visit the Center Twice!
Drop by once for a fact-finding mission, asking your list of questions. Stop by a second visit, this time with your child, to view the setting and assess her comfort level as well as the provider’s initial interaction with your child. Taking time to make a selective choice with give you peace of mind and offer your child an opportunity to take those first steps away from home on the right foot.