Child Care Checklist - Collaborative for Children
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Child Care Checklist

Child Care

As you research and visit child care programs, use this Child Care Checklist to help make your selection.


Choosing child care for your child is one of the most important decisions you will make as a parent. There are a variety of types of child care programs to choose from, and so many factors to consider in making your selection. This checklist can help. Print out several PDF copies of this Child Care Checklist here and bring them with you as you visit different programs. This checklist will help you remember to observe and ask the same questions of each provider.



  • The hours suit my schedule.
  • The fees fit my price range.
  • Meals and snacks are appetizing.
  • Transportation is available.
  • The group size and age grouping are acceptable.




  • The setting is clean and cheerful.
  • Children seem happy.
  • Staff members and children get along well.
  • There is a balanced daily routine.
  • Children are comforted when needed.
  • There are rules the children can understand and follow.
  • There is a safety plan to follow in emergencies.
  • Safety precautions are established.
  • Different kinds of space are available for quiet play, active play and outdoor play.
  • There is enough space for all activities.
  • There are enough books, paints, blocks, musical toys, games and puzzles, etc.
  • Children can get things for themselves.




  • They have been trained to care for children.
  • Most staff have been in the program for at least one year.
  • Disciplinary methods are acceptable.
  • They are warm and friendly.
  • Staff members take time to discuss a child’s progress with parents regularly.
  • Children are treated as individuals.
  • In a family day home, ask how long the provider has been caring for children.
  • Staff members seem to have enough time to look after all children.




  • Parents can visit unannounced.
  • Parents are involved in decision-making.
  • There are opportunities for parents to be involved with the program.
  • Parents have a chance to speak with staff when they drop off and pick up children.




  • References are provided.
  • People who have used this service speak well of it.
  • I would be happy here if I were a child.
  • I feel comfortable leaving my child here.
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