Home Private Schools Childcare Centers Quality Childcare Checklist

What Is Quality Childcare?

Finding quality child care is not an easy task for parents. The quality of child care varies greatly and price is not always an indicator of good child care. This site will guide you on what things you should look for, and on the questions you should ask when searching for a child care provider for your child.

 

Choosing quality child care for your child involves being observant and asking plenty of questions. A child care checklist is provided to help you choose quality child care. A good child care center should have a welcoming, safe and nurturing environment.
  

Look

Is the provider's license posted or
  available?
Does the environment appear
  clean and safe for children?
Is the interaction between child and   caregiver one of mutual respect and
  enjoyable for all?
Does the caregiver get down to the   children's eye level when talking?
Does the caregiver sit with the
  children, rather than far away
  from them ?
Is there sufficient equipment for all
  children to play with?
Is there sufficient staff for the
  number of children being cared for?
Are children kept busy with fun and   developmentally appropriate activities?
Are there smoke alarms and an
  emergency disaster plan posted?

Approach With Caution If:

Parents are limited to visiting hours
  and are not encouraged to drop
  in unannounced.
Caregivers are unwilling or unable to
  tell you about your child's day.
The caregivers do not act as if they
  enjoy their work.
Health and safety concerns are not
  attended to, for example, hands are
  not washed after diapering and before
  meal times.
License is expired.
References from current consumers
  are not available.
                          
                           

 

 Listen  

Do the children sound happy and involved?
Is the sound level appropriate? Is it either
  too quiet or too chaotic?
Does the caregiver listen closely to each
  child and use positive language when
  speaking with the children?

Ask

If no license is posted, ask if they
have a
  license.
What training and experience does the
  caregiver have?
Does the training include first aid and CPR?
How does the caregiver deal with
  behavior?
Will they provide you with a list of parents that
  you can contact for references?
Are you welcome to drop in
  unannounced?
On what dates is the site closed,
   i.e., for holidays?
Does the caregiver offer alternative care
  for times when the program is closed?
Do children go on field trips? If so, who drives
  and what vehicles are used?
How much, if any, time do children spend
  watching television or videos?
What happens in case of a medical
  emergency with your child?
How does the caregiver handle prescribed
  medicine for children?