Take time to look at the stars divider

Now you’re ready to start visiting child care programs. Before you go, make a list of what you want to know about the child care program. Some of these questions might include:

  • Do the program’s philosophies reflect our family values?
  • How will the child care provider involve me in the daily events of my child’s life?
  • Do the hourly, holiday and vacation schedules meet my family’s needs?

Take your child with you when you visit. Visiting in the afternoon is best for talking to the director; visiting in the morning is best for observing teacher-child interactions.

  • Observe all areas where the children are cared for, including outdoor areas.
  • Listen to how the teachers interact with the children.
  • Ask your child if s/he liked visiting and does s/he think it would be fun to go there again.

When observing the program, look for quality indicators that generally foster a safe, nurturing and stimulating environment for children, including:

Unfortunately, not all programs are safe environments for children. When evaluating a program, it’s also important to look for these danger signals:

  • The child care provider/director discourages parental visits or questions
  • The provider seems harsh or indifferent to children
  • The provider uses corporal punishment, such as spanking, shaking or rough handling
  • The provider spends more time taking care of her own needs than talking and playing with the children
  • There are too few teachers for the number of children in care
  • When you come to get your child or drop off your child, he or she is always with a different teacher or in a different classroom
  • Toys, learning materials and equipment are in short supply and often put out of the reach of children
  • The facility is dirty or unsafe
  • There is a pattern of recurrent accidents or illnesses that seems excessive
  • Children are expected to wait for long periods of time just standing in lines or sitting at tables
  • Your child is still unhappy after a reasonable adjustment period

previous button
Contact Us
Call 1-855-EarlyEd or email