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Questions for Child Care Centers/ Providers
Sending a child to day care can be hard on any parent. But taking the time to research a safe, credible program can help you feel at ease. Inquire about the following when you're finding a day care center:
Accreditation: Childcare providers who are accredited by a national organization meet standards that exceed most state licensing requirements. But don't rule out a childcare program simply because it isn't accredited. Indications of credibility vary from state to state. Learn more about the standards where you live from Child Care Aware of America.
Child-to-staff ratio: For the best care, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends one caregiver for every:
- three to four infants
- four to six toddlers
- six to nine preschoolers
Staff qualifications: Caregivers with degrees or other certifications may be better suited to help children learn. Also ask about staff turnover. A consistent team is best for the welfare of any child.
Day Care Center Policies: Carefully look over written policies for visitors, transportation, health standards, nutrition, outdoor play, emergency situations and other procedures. Voice any concerns about day care center policies or lack thereof.
Childcare Environment: Visit each prospective program to meet caregivers, inspect the facility and get a feel for how each operates. Look for a day care center that feels clean, safe and friendly.
On Curriculum, Child Development & Safety:
What type of curriculum do you offer?
- What would be a typical daily schedule for my child's age group?
- Do you separate older and younger children?
- How do you handle discipline?
- Is a nurse or health professional on staff?
- Do you have references I can contact?
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