Is This The Right Place For My Child?

Will my child be supervised?

Are children watched at all times, including when they are sleeping?15
Are adults warm and welcoming? Do they pay individual attention to each child?40
Are positive guidance techniques used?
Do adults avoid yelling, spanking, and other negative punishments?16
Are the caregiver/teacher-to-child ratios appropriate and do they follow the recommended guidelines:

One caregiver per 3 or 4 infants
One caregiver per 3 or 4 young toddlers
One caregiver per 4 to 6 older toddlers
One caregiver per 6 to 9 preschoolers 19

Have the adults been trained to care for children?

If a center,

- Does the director have a degree and some experience in caring or children? 27/28/29
- Do the teachers have a credential*** or Associate’s degree and experience in caring for children?27/28/29

If a family child cares home:

-Has the provider had specific training on children's development and experience caring for children?30
Is there always someone present who has current CPR and first aid training 32
Are the adults continuing to receive training on caring for children?33
Have the adults been trained on child abuse prevention and how to report suspected cases?12/13

Will my child be able to grow and learn?

For older children, are there specific areas for different kinds of play (books, blocks, puzzles, art, etc.)?21
For infants and toddlers, are there toys that “do something” when the child plays with them?41
Is the play space organized and are materials easy-to-use? Are some materials available at all times?21
Are there daily or weekly activity plans available? Have the adults planned experiences for the children to enjoy? Will the activities help children learn?22
Do the adults talk with the children during the day? Do they engage them in conversations? Ask questions, when appropriate?43
Do the adults read to children at least twice a day or encourage them to read, if they can read?43

Is this a safe and healthy place for my child?

Do adults and children wash their hands (before eating or handing food, or after using the bathroom, changing diapers, touching body fluids, eating etc.)?4
Are diaper changing surfaces cleaned and disinfected after each use?5
Do all of the children enrolled have the required immunizations?6
Are medicines labeled and out of children’s reach?7
Are adults trained to give medicines and keep records of medications?7
Are cleaning supplies and other poisonous materials locked up, out of children’s reach?8
Is there a plan to follow if a child is injured, sick or lost?9
Are first aid kits readily available 10
Is there a plan for responding to disasters (fire, flood)?11
Has a satisfactory criminal history background check been conducted on each adult present?
-Was the check based on fingerprints 14
Have all the adults who are left alone with children had background and criminal screenings?13
Is the outdoor play area a safe place for children to play?39
- Is it checked each morning for hazards before children use it?23
- Is the equipment the right size and type for the age of the children who use it?24
- In center-based programs, is the playground area surrounded by a fence at least 4 feet tall?25
- Is the equipment placed on mulch, sand, or rubber matting?23
- Is the equipment in good condition?39
Is the number of children in each group limited?
- In family child care homes and centers, children are in groups of no more than**

6-8 infants
6-12 younger toddlers
8-12 older toddlers
12-20 preschoolers
20-24 school-agers20

Is the program well-managed?

Does the program have the highest level of licensing offered by the state?42
Are there written personnel policies and job descriptions?17
Are the parents and staff asked to evaluate the program?37
Are staff ealuated each year, do providers do a self-assessment?18
Is there a written annual training plan for staff professional development?33
Is the program evaluated each year by someone outside the program?38
Is the program accredited by a national organization?36

Does the program work with parents?

Will I be welcome any time my child is in care?1
Is parents’ feedback sought and used in making program improvements?1
Will I be given a copy of the program’s policies?2
Are annual conferences held with parents?3

 

These questions are based on research about child care; you can read the research findings on the NACCRRA website under “Questions for Parents to Ask” at http://www.naccrra.org.

* These are the adult-to-child ratios and group sizes recommended by the National Association for the Education of Young Children. Ratios are lowered when there are one or more children who may need additional help to fully participate in a program due to a disability, or other factors.

** Group sizes are considered the maximum number of children to be in a group, regardless of the number of adult staff.

*** Individuals working in child care can earn a Child Development Associate credential.

For help finding child care in your area, contact Child Care Aware®, a Program of NACCRRA toll-free at 1-800-424-2246 or visit online at www.childcareaware.org.
For information about other AAP publications visit: www.aap.org

Notes:
Endorsed by:
American Academy of Pediatrics
Dedicated to the Health of All Children
*Office of Child Care

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