When new parents come to our Davenport daycare, they always say they don’t know what to ask me. I know it can be a scary thing to trust a stranger to watch your child and sometimes you might draw a blank as to what to ask your potential provider.
I’ve put together a list of questions to ask a daycare in home or daycare center :
o Are you certified/ licensed/registered?
o What education do you and your staff have?
o What is the adult-to-child ratio?
o How many children do you enroll at one time?
o Do you have an assistant?
o What is your policy regarding sick kids? Do you send kids home at the first hint of a sniffle, or do you wait until a child has a fever? o Why did you decide to become a child-care provider?
o What do you like most about caring for children? What do you like least?
o How do you discipline children when you see tantrums, pushing, fighting, and arguments?
o What would you do if my baby or child cried inconsolably?
o What are your security and emergency policies? How will my child be checked in and out each day? What would you do if my child fell? Do you practice fire drills? How would you handle an emergency situation (earthquake, tornado, national security threat)?
o Do you drive the children anywhere?
o What is a typical day like?
o Do you allow the children to watch television? What do they watch and when?
o Do you provide meals and snacks?
o Do you smoke? Do you have pets? If they have pets, ask to meet the pets and ask how much contact the pets have with the children.
o What are your fees? How and when will you bill us?
o Do I have to pay for days when my child is absent due to sickness or vacation? Usually, the answer is yes, but some daycare homes allow for a week or two of vacation time per year.
o On which holidays do you close? Is there a backup provider?
o How much do you charge if I’m late to pick up my child? It’s common for childcare providers to charge one dollar for every minute you’re late. However, some have a “three-strike” policy – only after the third time you’re late will you have to get out your wallet.
o What supplies do I need to bring ?(i.e. diapers, wipes, snacks, bottles)
o Do you have your policies in writing?
o Can you give me the names of some families I can call for references?