View Full Version : questions to ask child care centre?
hey, im looking to put ds into childcare from late feb. i went to a place today that seemed good, the staff were nice, the ladies that are in the toddler room have all been there at least 4 years, the facilities seemed good, the kids seemed happy, and ds loved it there just for the few minutes we were there.
so anyway my question is what sort of things should i ask? i've got the basic things like their "program", they gave me the handbook, their policies, what most of their procedures are, they told me the qualifications and length of time the staff ds will be with have been there.
i did have a huge list of questions that i wanted to ask but i have forgotten them.
so any help would be appreciated.
I questioned girlfriends who work in centres and they told me to ask things like:
what is the policy on hygiene procedures - how often are toys sterilised?
What are the nappy changing procedures?
Is there a GL and Assistant in each room?
Is there a relief person for breaks?
Do toileting, nappy changing and rest times meet individual needs?
Do meal times meet individual needs?
Will they continue your routine (if you have one)?
Where are the child's belongings kept?
Are parents able to visit at any time?
Do they have a Group Diary?
Is there a list of daily activities?
Where is the daily 'personal' chart kept? (with feed amounts, nappy changes etc detailed)
What are the ages of the children in the room?
How do you monitor individual progress?
What are the fire evacuation procedures?
What security does the centre have?
These may be covered in the handbook they gave you. Also make sure you are aware of illness policies (check Legislation if you need to). The centre DS was in did not tell parents about communicable diseases until it was too late. A big no no.
FANTASTIC list Spewiesmum ... not so much a question, but perhaps just 'drop in' to the centre whilst 'passing' and that may give you a real indication of how they interact and work etc as they won't be ready for it so to speak.
The other thing is (it sounds as though you are though) how comfortable you are with the carers and how DS takes to them and the other kids.
Sounds promising for you! Good luck :yes: :fingerscrossed:
Another thing I just thought of ... how do they report on your childs day - we used to get like a little report card EACH DAY that told us how much/what DD ate, sleeps (when & length), activities, any injuries (if they weren't serious enough to be advised of immediately) etc etc.
ALso along the lines of illness, what their injury policy is. Anything more than needing a cuddle etc was notified immediately (or what you'd prefer). During DD's 4 years at D/C, I received numerous calls at work advising DD had hurt herself (eg taken a serious fall and had a bruised knee) and we discussed action from there.
Knowing my toddler is a fussy eater, and having a bad experience with meals at one centre we tried, I would ask specific questions about the meals:
- ask to see a sample menu for a week or two, with recipes if possible.
- does the menu change significantly at holiday periods, ie school breaks. (some centres resort to sandwiches instead of a hot meal)
- are meals prepared on or off site
- is lunch a hot meal
- are extra helpings always available & offered for big eatters?
- if my toddler doesn't want the meal is there an alternate available? (my centre will give DD cheese and crackers as alternate)
- How are snacks served? One centre we tried seemed to be a free for all, with kids just expected to help themselves from a communal plate but shy kids wound up not eatting.
- Can my child eat her breakfast at the centre?
- is a late afternoon snack available for children being picked up late?
I'm also extra cautious about how school breaks are handled with regard to staffing, again due to a bad experience. So I would ask how they plan staffing for school breaks: to maintain their required staff/child ratios; do they retain a minimum # of permanent staff in each room during holidays, etc.
You can ask to see the licence & check on the number of children allowed. It should be on display anyways.
thanks ladies. your lists are great. a lot of them they freely gave up the information so most of my questions were answered without even having to ask. And they dont supply food at this place so that cuts out a lot of questions.
and i have done the drop in this morning, i wasnt expecting to be shown around but the lady was more than happy to which is good, a few places i called a while ago were very strict about having to have an appointment, which i can understand that they need to make sure they have someone available to show you around, but it made me feel like i wouldnt get to see the way things are really done.
anyway thanks for all your help.
that is a good list i have worked in childcare for 5 years but now i'm i mum my brain is not working as well so can't think so thanks to neeky 4 posting it up and thanks 4 the girls 4 replying.
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