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.
• Is the provider's license posted or
• 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
• 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
• License is expired.
• References from current consumers
are not available.
• 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?
• If no license is posted, ask if they have a
• What training and experience does the
• Does the training include first aid and CPR?
• How does the caregiver deal with
• Will they provide you with a list of parents that
you can contact for references?
• Are you welcome to drop in
• 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?