Things to Look for
- Are the ratios and group size appropriate for my child’s age?
- Is the setting appealing with comfortable lighting and an acceptable noise level?
- Is the environment sanitary, safe and accommodating for the special needs of children?
- Are toys and materials well organized so that children can choose what interests them?
- Is a daily schedule posted, using pictures and visuals, so that children can anticipate what will happen next?
- Do they answer children’s questions patiently? Do they ask children questions?
- Do caregivers engage with the children at their level?
- Do the caregivers seem happy? Are they positively interacting with each other and you?
- Do caregivers speak, sing and read to the children?
Questions to ask
- Am I welcome to drop in at any time?
- Do children have the ability to be involved in the creation of their daily activities? Is play prioritized?
- Which activities do your children enjoy the most?
- Is there a primary caregiver for my child?
- Do you have a policy/method for toilet training?
- What is your illness policy for children and teachers? What is your substitute teacher policy?
- What are meals like? What are naps like?
- How will you communicate with us about our child’s learning and development?
- What is your staff turnover rate?
- What training do staff members have in infant-toddler development?
- How do you assess children’s skills, strengths and needs?
- How do you track developmental milestones?
- How do you keep your children engaged with learning?
- How do you adapt learning activities to meet the needs of each child?
- How do they handle daily parent communication?
- Are they active on social media?
- How do they handle discipline? Do I agree with their methods?
- Do they share my values?
- Do they accommodate special diets?
- Do they accommodate for special situations like cloth diapers?
- How close is this provider to my home or work?
- Would I feel good about leaving my child here?
- What was the outdoor play space like?
- How did I feel about the director? Were they accommodating to my questions and needs? Do they seem flexible and eager to work with me?
- How was the energy of the place?