How to Choose the Perfect Daycare

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Trusting your child with a stranger is one of the hardest things we have to do as parents. And choosing the right daycare facility to care for your child can be so overwhelming. You have to consider costs, safety, location, the list goes on and on.

I spent MONTHS searching for the right child care facility.

I did a thorough investigation on all potential facilities, made a spreadsheet and everything lol.

In hopes of saving you months of searching, I’ve prepared the complete list of questions you should ask on a daycare tour.

Make sure to read the entire post for important factors you’ll want to consider when making your decision and how to find state inspection reports.

Questions to Ask:

Security

  • How do parents access the building? Is there a code or fob given to the parents?
  • What are the procedures if someone other than the parent comes to pick up the child?
  • What are the procedures if an unauthorized adult is in the building?
  • Do you have cameras at all entrances, exits, classrooms, and playground?
    • If so, do you live stream so the parents can view?
    • Do the cameras record?
      • If so, how long do you keep the recordings?

Classroom

  • What is the daily routine? It’s good to be aware of what your child’s day-to-day will be like such as how often they take naps, how often they eat, etc.
  • What is the staff turnover rate for this class and the next class my child will move up to?
  • How long have the teachers in this class worked here?
  • How long have the teachers in this class been in child care?

Daycare Policies

  • Are you licensed with the state?
  • What is your parent visitation policy during the day?
  • What is your visitation policy?
  • How do you discipline children?
  • How do you handle behavioral issues such as hitting or bullying?
  • How will you communicate any concerns with me?
  • What is your sick child policy?
  • How often do you sanitize toys and surfaces?
  • When do you require a child to be potty trained?
  • How do you assist with potty training?
  • Are all of the staff members CPR certified?
  • How do you manage food allergies?

Costs

  • How much is tuition?
    • Does this include meals?
    • Breakfast?
    • Lunch?
  • What is the total cost of Enrollment Fees?
  • Do you have any reoccurring fees? Some centers will change a quarterly or bi-annual fee.
  • What methods of payment do you accept? 
    • Do you charge extra for credit card payments?
  • Can I pay online?
  • Do you charge extra for summer months?
  • Do you require uniforms? 
    • If so, what is the cost?
  • How often is tuition due? Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly?
  • If I am late picking up my child, what is the late fee?

Breastfeeding Specific Questions

  • Can I come nurse during the day?
  • Where do you store breast milk?
  • How do you warm up frozen milk?

Bonuses

    • Is there anything that sets you apart from other daycare centers?
    • Do you teach any other languages?
      • If so, which languages?
      • Is there an additional fee?

    Observations:

    • Are the areas clean?
    • Do you see any safety concerns?
    • Do the children seem comfortable in their environment and with the staff?
    • Do the children seem bored or unhappy?
    • Does the staff seem invested in the happiness and development of the children?
    • Are there a variety of toys or learning materials?

    Request Documentation

    • Operational Policies and/or Parent Handbook
    • Curriculum Calendar
    • Meal Calendar
    • Holiday Calendar

    Important Factors to Consider

    •  How quickly can you get to the facility from home?
    • How quickly can you get to the facility from work?
    • Google Reviews
    • ***Review the historical State Child Care Inspections***
      • Here’s the link for Texas
      • If you don’t live in Texas, you can find this information by doing a quick Google search, “[State name] child care inspections”
      • Looking up this information will give you great insight and absolutely helped me to narrow down my search before taking the tours.

    Whew! That was a lot to cover lol. I know it seems like a ton of information, but you’ll be glad to know the information once you have it. Let me know in the comments section if you have any questions.

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    Hey girl!

    I'm MiMi: wife, boy mom, full time employee, and part time blogger. Modern Momsense is a judge free zone where moms can read honest stories of triumphs and failures that I hope can help make your journey through mommyhood easier. I love sharing information about pregnancy, breastfeeding and pumping, products I've tried, and caring for infants and toddlers. I also write about “adulting” topics specific to mom life.

    Whether you’re a first time mom or a been-there-done-that mom, I hope this blog will be a source of information and encouragement for you. So make yourself comfy mama, you've got this!

     

     

    2 Comments

    1. Abby Langer

      It’s so SO hard to give up control, but finding the right place that gives you positive vibes all around is such peace of mind.

      Reply
      • MiMi

        Omg, yes Abby! I couldn’t agree with you more. Letting someone else watch your child is so scary because you are not in control for the hours that your child is there. But what a joy it is when you find the child care center where your child thrives, develops, and truly has a great time.

        Reply

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