Choosing the best care for your child is one of the most difficult decisions a parent has to make.
In today’s world, there is a real need to find quality child care. Here are a few helpful guidelines when choosing child care…
What to look for in a home day care:
- Is the caregiver attentive with your child, and the other children?
- Do the other children appear happy and engaged?
- Is the home bright and clean?
- Does it resemble a daycare setting?
- Ask to see all the areas the child will have access to and ask where the children play, eat and sleep.
- The physical setting of the home — what is the play space like inside and outside?
- The location of the home — is it near public libraries, parks, community centres?
- Have precautions been taken to ensure safety of the children?
- Are there gates on stairs, latches on doors, a fence around the property, is furniture secured?
- Are there proper fire exits in areas of the home where the children will be?
- What are the play materials?
What to ask a caregiver:
- Does the caregiver have liability insurance?
- What is the caregiver’s level of experience?
- How many children are in the daycare and what are their ages?
- Is the provider trained in First Aid and CPR?
- Who else is in the house during daycare hours?
- Has the caregiver, and the others in the house, had a police check?
- Is the caregiver healthy and fit to care for children? Has he/she had a health check?
- Does the caregiver, or anyone else in the home, smoke on the premises?
- Are there pets? If so, are they up-to-date with their shots? Will children be allowed around pets?
- What happens if the caregiver is sick or on vacation?
- What is the menu? Are nutritious and balanced meals and snacks provided?
- How does he/she manage challenging behaviour? (Provide ‘What if’ scenarios.)
- Are there any house rules?
- Does he/she toilet train the children?
- What are the daily activities and is there both indoor and outdoor play?
- Are there regular outings? Where to?
- Will the caregiver drive anywhere with the children?
- Are children allowed to watch TV, play videogames, and access the internet?
- Does the caregiver have an open-door policy for parents and are they encouraged to drop in?
- Can you provide references, of both current and past clients?
Sources: City of Toronto and Ministry of Education, Wee Watch, CCPRN