- What is the experience, training, and qualifications of the childcare provider?
- Is the provider regulated? (County Certified-Provisional/Regular, State Licensed or Group Center)
- Is the Provider trained in CPR/AED or early childhood education?
- Is the Provider tuned in to what is going on in childcare (nutrition, child development, needs of children, positive behavior guidance)?
- Are there names and numbers for reference checks?
- Does the provider use additional caregivers, substitutes, or volunteers?
- Who arranges back-up care if the provider is unavailable? Do they have an ER contact person listed for emergency situations?
- Will the same provider and/or staff member care for my child everyday?
- What is the turnover rate of children and staff?
- Does the provider carry renter or home liability insurance? (This is not required for in-home certified providers, but is strongly suggested).
- What are the ages and maximum number of children in care?
- How long has the provider been in business?
- How long does the provider plan to remain in the childcare business?
- Does the provider have full-time and/or part-time enrollment?
- What are the daycare fees?
- Do I pay in cash or by check?
- Do I pay in advance or at the end of the week?
- Is the fee fixed or flexible?
- Do I pay for overtime if I pick my child up late?
- Do I pay for days my child is on vacation or sick?
- Do I pay for the provider’s sick days/vacation days?
- Does the provider provide transportation to/from the local school?
- What are the hours of operation?
- Do the hours/fee change during summer months?
- Is childcare available on school holidays?
- When will my child not be allowed to attend childcare (due to sickness)?
- Is there space to isolate sick children?
- What are the policies regarding emergencies?
- What is the policy on terminating care of a child?
- May I observe the program before and after enrollment?
- Are surprise visits by parents encouraged?
- May I partake in activities (birthday parties, picnics, and fieldtrips)?
- Are parent ideas welcome?
- Are there ways for parents to get involved in the childcare program?
Space and Safety
- Is there adequate indoor and outdoor space?
- Are all areas of the home clean?
- Where do the children nap/sleep?
- Does the provider have adequate items (high chairs, baby gates, cribs, pack/plays, toys)?
- Is the home safe for children (stairways protected, outlets covered, and poisons out of reach)?
- Is the outdoor play area safe?
- Is it fenced?
- Can the provider see the whole area of the yard at all times?
- What kind of play equipment is available?
- Can my child bring toys from home (special toy, security blanket)?
- Do caregivers always wash hands after diaper changes, blowing noses, and before handling food?
- Are medications handled safely?
- What is the typical day like for the children?
- Will I receive a daily report on my child and his/her activities?
- Does the daily schedule allow for free time and planned activities?
- Is there a daily balance of playtime, story time, activity time, and naptime?
- Where are these activities located?
- Where is the sleeping area?
- Where are children allowed to play in the house?
- Is there a comfortable and restful area for naps?
- Is there sufficient quite times?
- Are there outdoor and indoor activities?
- Does the provider plan activities like nature walks, bus rides or field trips? (The provider must receive your permission in writing to do these things with the children.)
- How are children transported?
- Do they have a child vehicle safety alarm installed in the car (Required for six-passenger seats or more)?
- What are the limits on watching TV?
- Are there music experiences?
- Are activities appropriate for my child’s age/ability?
- Are there enough play and educational materials?
- Are they within my child’s reach?
- Does the program keep up with the children’s changing interests?
- Will the provider be able to meet my child’s special needs? (Nutritional, medical, developmental, cultural, religious needs).
- What are the children fed during the day?
- Does the provider have a planned menu to view each week or month?
- Does the provider participate in the USDA Food Program?
- Do I have to pack meals or a snack?
- Can my child maintain a special diet in this childcare program?
- Is the food balanced, varied, and nutritious?
- Which meals are provided?
- What time are snacks/meals provided?
- What will the provider do if my child does not like a meal?
- Would anything in the surroundings irritate a child with allergies? (Food, animals, dust, etc.)
- Does the provider have any pets within the home?
- Is the pet up to date with rabies vaccinations?
- How will my child be disciplined? (Physical discipline and/or shaming is not allowed)
- Does the provider agree with me on what behaviors should be disciplined (and how)?
- Are limits clear, reasonable, and consistent?
- Can the provider positively redirect children?
- Is positive reinforcement used?
- What is the provider’s personality? (cheerful, flexible, patient, understanding, relaxed, warm)
- Does the provider take good care of herself/himself?
- Will the provider always be ready to answer my questions?
- Is the provider a suitable role model?
- Does the provider seem to enjoy children?
- Does the provider and the children enjoy being together?
- Does the provider have age-appropriate expectations?
- Does the provider listen to children, rather than simply give directions/corrections?
- Does the provider treat each child as individuals, with dignity and respect?
- Does the provider get down to the child’s level and speak to the child directly?
- Does the provider smile, look at, talk to, and listen to the individual children?
- Does the provider greet and welcome the children when they arrive?
- Are the children’s needs met quickly, even when things get busy?
- Are the children comforted when necessary?
- What does the provider do when a child cries?
- Is the provider sensitive to the emotional needs of children?
- Does the provider encourage identifying emotions?
- Does the provider encourage sharing?
- What would the provider do if a child bites?
- Does the provider encourage sensitivity to others?
- Does the provider encourage independence, exploring, and creativity?
- Does the provider help children gain confidence in themselves? (Example: compliment them when they do a good job).
The Child Care
- Are the other children in the home happy and relaxed?
- How do the children interact with each other?
- Is the childcare program and the provider accepting/responsive to the varied cultural and ethnic backgrounds of children and families?
- Are a variety of backgrounds (cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages) evident in pictures and toys?
- Is the provider respectful of my family’s lifestyle and values?
- What approach will be used with toilet training (timing, wording, method)?
- Does the provider or any household members smoke? (not allowed during childcare hours in the home OR on the dwelling/property).
- What is expected of me as a parent? (fees, clothing, diapers, food)
- Are the goals of this program compatible with mine?
Some things to keep in mind while at the childcare program
- What are my instincts telling me?
- Is this the kind of place where I would like to hang out with my child?
- Will my child/children be happy here?
If you have additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Waukesha County Certification Staff.
|Jennifer Mantei, Day Care Certifier
|Beth Treder, Day Care Certifier
|Karen Narlow, Day Care Coordinator