Ask Many Questions Before Choosing Child Care

girl-outsideHealth and safety

  • Check Child Care Licensing compliance history on the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (TDFPS) website, 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.

Quality factors

  • 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) 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.

Parent involvement

Know how and how often caregivers will communicate with you about your child’s progress.