Choosing a child care center is an important decision for any parent.  The right center can be a great benefit to your child’s education and encourage his or her social, emotional, physical and intellectual growth.  Visit several facilities before you make this decision.  It is important that you and your child visit the center before enrolling!  Look over the checklist below before visiting a center or family home.

Print out the checklist and take it with you on your visit.

The Day Care Center or Family Home Should:

  • Be licensed, approved, certified or registered by the state.
  • Provide snacks and well-balanced, hot meals
  • Have a fenced outside play area with outside toys, swings and climbing cubes that are securely attached to the ground.
  • Have a daily schedule that includes nap time and inside and outside activity times.
  • Let you visit whenever you want
  • Require an application form for each child with spaces for name, medical conditions, and addresses and telephone numbers for parents and doctor.
  • Remove dirty diapers and food scraps and throw away garbage every day.
  • Have rules that “fit”the age and abilities of the children.
  • Not allow children to hurt themselves or others
  • Not allow spanking.
  • Plan activities for each week that “fit”the child’s age.
  • Plan activities for the children that inspire creativity.
  • Encourage children to play together and share
  • Allow children to play along some of the time to teach children about the world through field trips, poems, songs and books.
  • Give workers a small number of children to tend
  • Have some workers who have worked at the cetner six months or longer.
  • Always require seat belts or car seats on field trips.
  • Require workers to continue their education in topics related to child care.

The Person Who Cares for Your Child Should:

  • Tell you every day about your child’s activities
  • Talk to the children often
  • Smile at the children often
  • Sing to (or with) the children
  • Talk to them in normal tones-, never yelling infants and toddlers.
  • Rock babies- often
  • Rock babies while feeding them
  • Wash their hands after changing diapers
  • Change diapers often and write down what babies ate and number of times they had bowel movements, so they can tell you that at pick-up time
  • Make sure children do not have toys so small they could swallow them
  • Read books to ail children every day
  • Give three- to five-year-olds puzzles to play with, paper and crayons- or paints-, and blocks to build things with
  • Let two- to five-year-olds play dress-up or “pretend” and give them things like dress-up clothes, empty cereal boxes ano books to play with
  • Let on e- a n d two-yea r-old s erawi and walk on carpel dun” ng much of the day. watching them carefully
  • Let one- and two-year-olds play with soft toys thai are washed often to kill gernis thai could make them sick
  • Make children feel good about finishing a project