Ask lots of questions before choosing child care - Collaborative for Children
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Ask lots of questions before choosing child care

Parenting Tip

teacher and group of kids

Selecting quality child care is one of the most important decisions you can make for your child. Consistent caregivers and routines are important in developing a young child’s trust and confidence. That’s why we are devoted to providing child care referral services at no cost to help you understand your options and make good decisions every step of the way.


• Check child care licensing compliance history at or ask child care director about compliance history.
• Observe cleanliness of center and diaper changing and hand washing procedures.
• Ask about security of medicines and chemicals in the facility.
• Ask if the caregivers are current with their certification in CPR and First Aid.
• Ask about the meal and nap time routines.
• Ask about transportation procedures if children are taken on field trips.
• Ask about discipline procedures when children act out or break classroom rules and how positive behavior is encouraged.
• Observe indoor and outdoor play areas and safety precautions used by staff.


• Ask if parents are welcome to visit and how they are encouraged to participate.
• Ask how and how often caregivers will communicate with you about your child’s progress.


• Ask about planned activities and observe equipment, toys and materials.
• Ask if the children are read to daily and look for the quality and quantity of books in each room.
• Ask about the amount of time spent each day on the playground. (30-45 minutes morning and afternoon recommended.)
• Ask about the use of technology (TV, DVD, computers) in the facility, recognizing that limited use is recommended for young children.


• Remember that consistent, positive relationships with caring adults will allow your child to grow, develop and learn.
• Observe if the caregivers are warm, caring and enjoy their work.
• Ask if the program is accredited or certified by a recognized respectable agency, such as NAEYC*, with higher requirements than minimum child care licensing standards.
• Ask about the experience, education and regular training of the caregivers.
• Ask about the number of children assigned to each caregiver and the number of children in each room or home in order to understand the opportunities for individual attention.

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