How to Evaluate a Family Childcare Center

When seeking a child care placement, many parents choose family child care providers. Based in a private home, a family child care program can offer more flexible hours and a warm, personal setting that a center might lack. However, it’s important to make certain that any location where your child spends her day meets crucial health and safety standards. Here are some things for parents to ask and look for when selecting a family child care provider.

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Ask how many caregivers will be present at all times. What is the ratio between children and caregivers? Are children supervised at all times, even while sleeping? Have caregivers been trained in safety measures, such as First Aid and CPR?

Ensure it will be a safe and sanitary place for your child. Is the home kept reasonably neat and free of hazards? Is the location where diapers are changed kept clean? Are hygienic practices used? Do caregivers always keep a hand on children while diapering? What kind of procedures exist for emergency situations?

See how feedings are handled by the staff. Inquire whether or not infants are fed on demand. Is breast milk stored appropriately? Is the food nutritious and of high quality? How are food allergies handled?

What kind of communication exists between parents and the provider? Are rules clear and are written agreements generated? Do caregivers effectively communicate needs and concerns to parents, and are parents able to do the same?

By no means is this a comprehensive list. You can visit childcareaware.org for a detailed checklist and guidelines to help you choose the best child care setting for your child.

 

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