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Questions for the Daycare Director

Questions for the Daycare Director


Ask everything you can think of when choosing a daycare center.


By FamilyTime

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Ifyou decide to rely on daycare for your child, you will no doubt search far and wide for the right facility for your tot. When you have narrowed down the choices for a center or in-home facility, make an appointment with the director. Come armed with your child and a list of questions before applying.

Plan to stay for at least an hour. Before making a final decision, try to find time for you and your child interact with the actual caregivers, not just the director.

You will have dozens of questions and don't hesitate to ask even one. Your child's care is very important! Add your own questions to this list.
  • How long have the caregivers (teachers) been working with children?
  • What kind of training do they have?
  • What is the ratio of caregiver to child? States regulate this but in general there should be at least one adult for every three to four infants, one for every four to six toddlers, and at least one for every nine to 10 preschoolers.
  • Does the center have references for the caregivers available? Can it provide a list of parents for reference?
  • What are the drop-off and pick-up procedures? Are parents encouraged to spend time at the center when they drop their children off and retrieve them at the end of the day?
  • What are the penalties for late pick ups (some of these can be relatively harsh)?
  • Are teachers available to discuss children at the beginning and end of the day? Don't expect full-blown conferences at these hectic times, but caregivers should be able to chat with parents about their child's day and raise any concerns.
  • Are parents encouraged to drop in unannounced? (If not, look elsewhere.)
  • Does the center encourage parents to participate in its activities?
  • What are the disciplinary measures? These should be constructive and involve redirection, positive reinforcement, and time-outs.
  • Where and for how long do children nap?
  • If the center provides food, what is it? Is it healthful?
  • If the center allows television watching, for how long and what programs?
  • Is the center equipped with cameras so that parents can tune in from outside computers to see what is going on?
  • What are the policies regarding sick children?
  • What are the policies regarding medication?
  • What are the sanitary procedures at the center? These are most critical in the bathrooms, eating and food preparation areas, and diaper changing stations.

 

Finally, trust your instincts when choosing a center. Are you comfortable with the director and other adults? Does your child respond to their smiles? Do you feel a warmth and energy you like?

If you can answer yes to these questions, chances are you have found your place. Look forward to a reassuring and enjoyable relationship with the people who will have your child’s best interests at heart.




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