If you’re a new parent going back to work or require child care services for any other reason, don’t rush the process. The more research you do on each potential center, the more likely you are to find the best place for your child. Ask these questions when visiting different centers so you can feel confident in your decision.
5 Child Care Provider Questions You Should Ask
1. Are You Licensed?
Find out if the child care center is fully licensed by the state. Look up the center on New York State's Office of Children & Family Services website to review complaint history and previous inspection reports. Learn about the credentials of each staff member and how long they’ve worked at the center. Those with the most experience typically have the patience and knowledge to help children of different ages adjust.
2. What Safety Features Do You Use?
Look for an evacuation plan on one of the center walls and ask what the staff does to keep the children as safe and comfortable as possible. Some methods might include putting babies to sleep on their backs, adding sharp edge protectors where applicable, administering first aid for cuts and bruises, and providing toys free of choking hazards. Inquire how the staff keeps track of the children, such as counting everyone before they go outside to play and ensuring there’s always enough team members watching the little ones.
3. Do You Have A Sick Child Policy?
Learn how the child care facility deals with sick children, such as providing a separate “sick center” for kids who become ill on the premises. Most centers ask parents to keep sick children at home so they don’t spread the bacteria or virus to others.
4. What Discipline Guidelines Do You Follow?
Review the center’s discipline policy, such as using a “time out” chair for disruptive children. The best facilities stick to gentle consequences since toddlers benefit from redirection and distraction over punishment.
5. Are Activities Education-Based?
Ask what kinds of activities your child will enjoy, such as singing, reading, language and motor skill development, and other age-appropriate pursuits that promote cognitive maturation.
If you want a nurturing child care center for your infant, toddler, or preschoolers, consider A Rising Star Children’s Center in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. They’ve served the area for more than 15 years, and owners Gloria and Tom offer a combined 40+ years of experience in teaching and child care. Call the learning center today at (914) 862-4283 with questions or visit their website for program information.