1. Check for adequate staff.
It is important to ensure that the daycare center has enough staff members with the necessary qualifications and experience to provide quality care to all of the children in attendance. Take time to ask about the credentials and backgrounds of each staff member. Make sure that there are enough adults available at all times for the number of children enrolled.
2. Ask about background checks and health screenings of staff members.
It is important that all staff members have been thoroughly screened for criminal activity and are in good health to provide quality care to the children. Check with the daycare center what type of background checks they do on their staff and if they require any additional health screenings beyond those required by law.
3. Inspect the facility’s cleanliness.
Take a look at the overall condition of the daycare center to ensure that it is kept up-to-date, sanitary, and safe for your child's use. Pay close attention to common areas where food is prepared or served, as well as bathrooms and sleeping quarters for children who may be staying overnight.
4. Visit during hours of operation.
It is important to visit the daycare center during normal hours of operation so that you can get an accurate picture of what your child's daily experience will be like. Try to observe how the staff interacts with children and parents, as well as evaluate if any activities are being provided for the children.
5. Consider educational activities provided by daycare centers.
Find out what type of educational and stimulating activities are offered at the daycare facility to ensure your child is learning something each day they attend. These activities should be age-appropriate and provide opportunities for exploration, creativity, and growth.
6. Review meal plans offered by daycare centers.
It is important to check what type of meals are provided at the daycare center. Review if there are healthy options available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner as well as snacks throughout the day. If a meal plan is not offered, make sure that you provide your child with nutritious meals during their stay.
7. Examine safety protocols in place at the facility.
Ensure that all safety measures are in place to protect your child from harm while they are at the facility. This includes inspecting indoor and outdoor play areas for any potential hazards, ensuring fire extinguishers and smoke detectors have been tested recently and checking locks on doors or windows leading outside.
8. Evaluate emergency policies regarding contact information & illness notification procedures.
Ask about the daycare center's policies regarding contact information and illness notifications. Review all procedures regarding both parents and emergency contacts, as well as what steps will be taken if your child gets sick while they’re at the daycare facility.
9. Compare costs of different centers.
Check out prices offered by different daycare facilities to compare the cost versus the quality of care that is provided. Once you have narrowed down a few options, it is important to ask each one for additional details such as their cancellation policy and any discounts they might offer.
10. Ask about pick-up & drop-off policies.
Inquire about the daycare center's pick-up and drop-off policies to make sure you are aware of all procedures for getting your child to and from the facility. Additionally, evaluate if there is any flexibility with times or days that your child can attend in case you need to adjust your schedule on certain occasions.