All children have the right to receive the highest quality care available. Parents need to know what to look for, what options are available to them and what questions to ask. This information is a guide to helping parents make an informed decision.

What is “quality care?”
“Quality” means more than meeting the basic licensing requirements of health and safety, it means having a program that is developmentally appropriate for your child. Major brain development takes place from birth to 3 years of age and it is critical that children are in a loving, nurturing and enriching environment during those early years.

How do I find the right place for my child?
Be informed! Visit several sites, several times before deciding. LOOK, LISTEN and ASK QUESTIONS

What questions should I ask?
On the phone before visiting, ask:

  1. Are you currently licensed and do you have liability insurance
  2. What child care experience, education or training do you have?
  3. What are your hours of operation and fees for basic service?
  4. What are the ages and number of children you care for?
  5. Will you provide me with two references (from parents)?
  6. What is your philosophy and policy for disciplining children?

What should I look for in the family child care home or child care center?
Observe the following:

  1. Are children safe – from matches, medications, swimming pools, stairs, electrical outlets, and sharp objects
  2. Is the yard fenced and clear of hazards
  3. Are toys clean, in good repair and easily accessible to children?
  4. Is there a special cubby or shelf for each child?
  5. Are there outdoor areas for climbing and running?
  6. Are sleeping (resting) areas safe, clean and comfortable?
  7. Are meals and snacks nutritious?
  8. What are the feeding, bottle and potty procedures?
  9. Is the television time limited?
  10. Do children seem content?
  11. Is the provider warm, loving, energetic, and respectful to children?
  12. Does the provider welcome unscheduled visits from parents?