As a working mom, it doesn’t matter how much you love your job, it is tough to put your child in daycare. That is why choosing the right childcare is a critical decision. When touring daycare centers, you want to make sure that the center fits your family, offers opportunities for your child, and provides a safe space. Everyone wants something different from their childcare, so here are 20 questions to keep in mind when you start touring. Knowing the specifics to these questions can make your choice a lot easier when selecting daycare and make you and your family feel even more comfortable.
What’s the monthly tuition?
While some daycare centers share this over the phone, some may not, but, in general, daycare is expensive. What you are willing to afford is a personal choice, so knowing the cost upfront is beneficial before falling in love with the center.
Are you currently enrolling new students?
This way you will be able to know if there is a waitlist or not. You may want to ask an estimate of when there would be room for your child and if there is a fee. If they cannot enroll any more kids, you can look at other childcare centers.
What are the accreditations?
More prominent daycare centers have this information right up front, but smaller facilities may forget to provide the specifics. Facilities with accreditations prove that they meet certain social and quality standards. National accreditations have higher standards than local and state accreditations, so look up precisely what kind of accreditations your particular facility has.
What’s the ratio for each classroom?
There are different standards for every state. For example, for infants, there is an average of five children for each teacher. Ask your childcare center what the ratio of teacher to a child is for the age group to make sure your child is in good care.
What’s the curriculum?
Even for infants, daycare centers have a curriculum for them. It is usually sensory-type activities created around a particular theme. Having this curriculum shows that the teachers are engaging with your child as they develop every day.
How is communication with parents?
This question allows you to understand how the caregivers will be communicating with you on things like talking about milestones or if your child is ready to try something new. Daycare will quickly be a big part of your child’s life, so make sure that your daycare prides itself on daily communication.
What dates are the daycare closed?
You might expect the daycare to close on federal holidays, but there may be some dates that the daycare will is closed for training or other tasks. By knowing this information, you will be able to know how much PTO you will need to take off, when you may need to work from home or find another childcare.
What are the emergency procedures?
You will want to know how your daycare center has decided to keep children, of all ages, safe in an emergency event. Whether it is a getaway crib for the infant room or emergency doors, make sure there is a procedure.
What’s the sick child policy?
When asking this question, you will gather information when the daycare facility considers a child is too sick to come in, when your child is sick enough to be sent home, and if medicine can be given at the daycare. Some facilities are extremely strict about maintaining a healthy environment, so make sure their policies work with your family.
What supplies do I need to provide?
Some daycare centers provide diapers, wipes, formulas, and more, while other daycare centers don’t offer anything. This can make a difference, especially when comparing prices.
Have the employees been trained in First Aid?
This can cover everything from CPR to treating cuts but can be an essential question while making sure your child is always safe in the daycare center.
Do you provide meals for those with dietary restrictions?
This can also factor into your choice when making a choice and comparing prices. If your child is vegetarian or has allergies and the center doesn’t offer according to meal choices, you have to consider the cost of packing a lunch for your child every day.
What is the policy of behavioral problems?
This is a critical question to ask to make sure that children who do have disciplinary problems get treated maturely and to make sure that they learn the difference between right and wrong in social situations.
How much time do children get to play outside?
A lot of research says that children need more time outdoors and be active, so make sure to ask the daycare center how much time your child will get to play and explore outside.
Do the children stay in age groups?
The answer to this question is right to know if you have siblings in the daycare center together. Then, you can understand if, for example, your 5-year-old will be able to see your infant at any time throughout the day.
What is the nap policy?
It’s good to know if there is a scheduled time every day when your child has to take a nap, and what the center’s nap time routine is. If you have precise specifications, you can see if they can incorporate that.
What is a typical day like for the children?
This can just let you get a handle on what activities your child will go through at the center, and can be a significant factor when comparing different daycare facilities.
How flexible are the pickup and drop-off times?
If you are stuck in traffic or are late leaving work, it is good to know if the childcare center has a late-pickup or drop-off fees and how flexible they are with their times.
What are the transportation policies?
If your child heads off to parks, walks around the neighborhood, or field trips through the daycare center, it is good to know the transportation policies, such as permission slips and car seats.
Are the employees experienced?
You’ll want to know if the people who are taking care of your child have worked at that facility for several years, if they’re brand-new, or if they have a degree in childcare.