You are your child’s first and most important teacher and your child care provider is a critical partner. To make sure your child care center is supporting your child's needs and your family's needs, it is important to choose a high quality child care program. But identifying a high quality child care isn't always easy.
The questions below are intended to help you think about which child care program will provide the best care for your child while meeting your specific needs.
For more information, please visit the Family Resource Library provided by Arkansas Better Beginnings.
Questions to ask yourself:
- Is the child care program close to my work or home?
- Do I feel comfortable there?
Questions to ask your friends:
- What do people who have children there say about it?
- Would you send your child there?
Questions to ask the director or primary caregiver:
- Does the child care program accept vouchers for payment?
- Can parents visit at any time?
- What training does the program provide for teachers?
- What accreditation does the child care program have?
- How long do workers typically stay within the same group of children?
- How many children does each teacher take care of?
- Does someone watch the children at all times, even during naps?
- Are the teachers trained in CPR and First Aid?
- Do all staff get at least 15 hours per year of child care training?
- What happens if my child gets sick or hurt? Will I be called?
- How will I know what is going on during the day?
- Is information sent home or posted in the facility?
- Will the program staff help my child make a smooth transition to your care?
- Is there an opportunity to talk to my child's teacher at the end of the day?
- What is the policy for sick children?
- Does the program administer medicine?
Questions to ask the teacher or provider:
- Does your child care program have structured time and free time?
- How much time do children spend outdoors each day?
- How often are toys cleaned?
- Are there enough toys for all the children?
- Are children allowed to explore?
- Is there a daily schedule with a lesson plan?
- Do most learning activities happen in small groups or one-on-one?
- Are there regularly scheduled nutritious meals and snacks?
- Do children have to bring their own food?
- What is the policy on potty training?
- How do you handle fighting?
- What do you do to prevent fighting and behavior problems?
- How are the rules explained to the children?
Things to observe when you visit the outdoor play area:
- Is there a safe outdoor play area with sturdy equipment?
- Is the outside play area fenced in?
- Is there enough space for the children to move freely?
- Is there a shady area for the children to play?
Things to observe when you visit the child care program:
- Would your child enjoy the activities that are available?
- Do the children seem to feel comfortable and happy?
- Do the providers seem to enjoy being with the children?
- Do the providers play and talk with the children?
- Do you hear pleasant conversations among children and staff?
- Do the providers respond quickly to the children's needs?
- Are the children well supervised at all times?
- Are the children greeted when they arrive?
- Is the child care facility clean?
- Does the child care program seem safe?
- Is there an area for children to nap?
- Are materials on shelves accessible to children?
- Is the room organized?
- Is there child sized furniture?
- Are the restrooms clean?
- Are the restrooms close to my child's room?
If you have any questions you can give us a call at (501) 760-6586, or you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to assist.