Trusting your child’s well being with another person might be the most terrifying decision ever! My 18-month-old son Connor started daycare a month ago, and let me tell you, I was so nervous on finding the right provider. I was fortunate enough to stay home with him for the first year and a half of his life. Sadly as a newly single mom who went full time at work, it was time to take the big leap and look for a daycare.I’m so grateful that the first daycare I interviewed was the perfect fit for Connor and my crazy early morning schedule.
Before our interview with the daycare, I looked at Pinterest for a list of questions to ask. After multiple clicks, I was left with a quickly compiled list of questions, where I left off many crucial questions. During our interview, I thought to my self, Wow- I should have been prepared!
I’m here to help you be absolutely prepared! I’ve created this guide so that you will have a much better search and experience than I did on the daycare hunt.
First things first, once you decide to interview a daycare center, Google the crap out of the place or the daycare provider! Look for reviews everywhere- Facebook, care.com, anywhere there many be any comments. If you’re in any local mom groups, ask around and see if there’s any word on the daycare.
Once you’re ready to interview, bring this list of questions along so you don’t miss a thing!
About Your Caregiver:
Including the caregiver, are there any other workers?
What certifications and experience do the daycare workers have?
What languages are spoken by the daycare workers?
If the daycare provider is sick, what is the protocol?
Why did the provider decide to work with children?
How do the daycare workers discipline the children?
How will the daycare worker comfort your child?
Are all staff CPR and First Aid certified?
About The Daycare:
What state licenses does the daycare have and what programs are they involved in?
How long has the daycare been open?
What are the daycare’s hours and days open?
What is the cost for a child under two and over two?
How many hours per day are included in the rate?
How much more would it cost if you go over the hours per day price?
How often will you pay the daycare and how do they prefer payment?
Will you be charged for the days your child doesn’t attend?
What meals are included in the price? (Don’t forget to ask about the menu!)
What is the holiday schedule? How far in advance do they let you know?
How many children are in the daycare?
How long has each child been with the daycare?
What is the children per daycare worker ratio?
What is the pick up and drop off policy?
How often are toys cleaned and replaced?
How often is the daycare center cleaned?
What is the daycare’s disaster plan? (Think tornadoes, earthquakes,etc)
What does an average day look like?
What is the daycare’s learning style?
Will your child be watching television?
Where do the children sleep?
What Is the nap schedule?
What supplies do you as the parent need to provide?
What supplies does the daycare provide?
Does the daycare offer a daily report of what your child did during the day? (BMs, bottles, naps, etc.)
How often do the children get outside time?
Do they offer field trips? If so, how often and ask for examples.
Are the children ever left unattended?
About your child:
Must your child be up to date on vaccinations to attend?
What is the sick-child policy?
What if your child needs medication during the day?
Will they feed your child on demand or a schedule?
Bonus questions (If applies to you!):
Is your daycare provider intact friendly? (Ask how they change a diaper of an intact child to make sure it’s the correct way!)
Is your provider comfortable giving your breast milk to your child?
Is your provider comfortable with using cloth diapering?
What potty training methods will the provider use with your child?
Always make sure to get a full tour of all areas of the center or the home, including the outside. Look around for baby proofed areas. See where your child will sleep.Don’t forget to ask for a list of references!
This is totally optional, but I chose to take Connor along for our interview to see how he interacted with the other children and the provider. How quickly your child warms up to the worker will say a lot about the person. Also notice how they provider interacts with other children.
The transition into daycare can be stressful, but if you go in prepared, you’ll feel much more at ease! Best of luck mama, you’ve got this!