What questions should I ask a potential child care program?
Before you ask those questions, you first want to ask those questions of yourself. When you are going to choose child care, the first thing you want to ask yourself is, what are you looking for? What type of provider are you looking for? Who do you want to watch your child?
This is a partnership that you are joining. It's like a team, so you want to ask yourself those questions first before you go and ask the provider. What do you want for your child? What kind of provider do you want? What values do you have that you want to make sure that provider has. You want to make sure and ask those questions, those self-reflective questions, before you go out to see what the facility is.
If you can think of it, there's emotional and physical pieces to this. You want to know who is going to be taking care of the emotions of your child, as well as, where they are going to be throughout the day. Once you know the emotional part of who you want to choose as a provider, the next thing you want to look at is the physical environment. You want to look at, is there correct supervision? What are the qualifications of the provider or teacher in the classroom? How much training do they have? Is there a high turnover? Are there enough materials in the facility? Are they age appropriate? What is the evacuation plan look like? Those are some logistical pieces that you want to ask.
There are lots of places on the web that can give you those checklists. You can visit www.childcareaware.org, and they will give you a list of all the things to ask when you visit a facility.