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Questions to Ask When Choosing a Daycare Provider

Interviewing the childcare provider is a critical step and should take place when children aren’t there, says Judy Kriege, technical assistant to childcare facilities at Bananas in Oakland, CA. To get to know the caregiver, parents should ask open-ended questions. “Parents shouldn’t be afraid to ask about anything that they’d want to know,” Kriege says.


 


This is a time for parents to listen, not to talk about their child. 

Caregivers
Why do you do childcare?


 


How long have you been doing childcare?


 


What are your favorite activities with children?


 


How would you work with my toddler when school-age children are present?


 


Is staff trained, experienced with children?


 
Naptime, diapering. feeding, sick kids
What are naptime procedures? Can a child nap quietly and comfortably?


 


What if a child won’t sleep?




 


tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">Do children bring blankets from home? Do they have their own mat or cot?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">What are the caregiver’s thoughts/procedures around diapering / toilet training / a preschooler’s “accidents”?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">Does staff wash hands and the changing area after diapering?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">Do children bring food from home? What food is served? What does the caregiver do when a child won’t eat?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">What if a child becomes sick?


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Child development, interaction, discipline
How many children are there? What are their ages?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">What do the children do all day?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are children allowed to choose activities?


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tyle="font-size: 10pt; font-family: Verdana;">What if a child hits or bites? What if she throws a toy?




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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">What if my child is fussy, cries more than 15 minutes?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are different kinds of spaces available for quiet play, active play, outdoor play?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Is there outdoor play equipment?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are children's questions answered?


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Are children encouraged to solve problems, make decisions?

Health and safety checks
Are cabinets locked, cleaning solutions available, but locked away or stored out of children’s reach?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are there fire extinguishers, smoke detectors?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are garbage cans, heaters, electrical outlets covered?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are sharp corners padded?


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0pt; font-family: Verdana;">Are there sterilizing solutions for hands and surfaces?


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Is there an emergency exit plan with alternative places to meet?


 


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