How to evaluate child care providers and settings
For a child of any age
- Is there a primary caregiver assigned to my child and do all caretakers communicate for consistent care?
- Does the provider know typical child development? Will the provider respect my child’s individuality?
- Will the provider work closely with my family to develop a partnership?
- Can I visit my child at any time during the day?
- Can I volunteer to help in some way?
- What group size is followed; does it meet state and local regulations?
- Are our family relationships nurtured and our culture and routines supported?
- Is there a daily schedule of activities including playtime and quiet time?
- Are toys and equipment safe and cleaned regularly?
- Is proper hand-washing taught and used to prevent spread of illness?
- Is the program regulated?
- Is the program license posted and current?
- Is the area appealing with comfortable lighting and an acceptable noise level?
- Are toys and materials well organized and accessible to the children?
- Can the caregiver and the environment accommodate the special needs of my child?
For an infant/toddler
- Is the primary caregiver someone who cares for my child during daily routines?
- Does the provider know typical infant/toddler development?
- Will he/she frequently talk to my infant using simple words?
- Will she/he work closely with my family, providing daily written reports of my child’s progress?
- Is proper hand-washing taught and used at diapering and frequently throughout the day?
- Are sanitation procedures posted in each area and followed daily?
- Does the environment offer quite spaces for rest and soft spaces for exploring?
For a school age child
- Is the provider someone who interacts positively with children?
- Is the provider someone who offers a variety of age specific activities?
- Are there opportunities for children to expand their knowledge by exploring topics of interest?
- Is there space for free play, group play, and individual activities?
- Is there a flexible schedule allowing children to choose from a variety of experiences?
- Is there supervision that allows children to develop independence and be safe too?
- Is there a daily schedule posted for you to see?
- Is the discipline policy similar to yours?
- What is the staff/child ratio?
- Are you welcome to visit at any time?
- Are there activities that foster a positive self-image?