Ask Many Questions Before Choosing Child Care
Health and safety
- Check Child Care Licensing compliance history on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) website, www.txchildcaresearch.org or ask the center director about compliance history.
- Observe cleanliness of center or home, including diaper-changing and hand-washing procedures.
- Observe security of medicines and chemicals in the facility.
- Ask about caregiver certification in CPR and First Aid.
- Review meal- and nap-time routines.
- Discuss transportation procedures if children are taken on field trips.
- Ask about 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.
- Discuss planned activities and observe equipment, toys and materials.
- Ensure that 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 in the morning and afternoon is recommended.
- Observe the use of technology (TV, VCR, 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 the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), www.naeyc.org, with higher requirements than minimum Child Care Licensing standards.
- Discuss the experience, education and regular training of the caregivers.
- In order to understand the opportunities for individual attention, ask about the number of children assigned to each caregiver and the number of children in each room.
- Ask if parents are welcome to visit and how they are encouraged to participate.
- Know how and how often caregivers will communicate with you about your child’s progress.