The List to Consider as You Tour and Decide on Child Care Options
Written in Collaboration with Stephanie Hecker, Early Childhood Coordinator
One of the steps that we encourage all families to take as they search for child care is to visit and tour the facility. Meet the people who run the day care and those who would be working with your child. It's hard to get a real feel for a place until you see it for yourself.
And even if they aren't doing in-person tours at this time, many centers offer virtual tours that provide more detailed information than you can gather from looking at their website.
While on the tour, you'll have the opportunity to ask questions, and we encourage you to be prepared for this. Have your list of questions in advance so that you don't later find yourself wishing you had asked something you forgot. Asking the same questions at each child care facility will better equip you to compare and contrast your options.
We've compiled a list of questions that will help you as you look for the right fit for your family.
Questions to Ask on a Day Care Tour
- How many children are enrolled in the program? How many per classroom?
- Does your center have a curriculum of learning for each age group in your care?
- What is your teaching approach?
- Do you provide food? What do you serve for meals and snacks?
- What does a general day look like?
- How do you handle potty training? What age do you begin?
- What is your screen time policy?
- How long has your child care center been operational?
- What things do you do to build a partnership with parents?
- How do you communicate with families and how often?
- How do you deal with allergies?
- Can you accommodate and care for infants or toddlers with special needs?
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- What is your teacher to child ratio?
- What is your teacher turn over? How often are you hiring new people?
- What type of experience do the teachers and assistants have?
- Do you have a nurse on staff?
- Will my child interact with any other staff besides their main classroom teachers?
FACILITIES (Especially ask these if you are unable to tour in person)
- What are your facilities like? How many classrooms? Any shared spaces like libraries or cafeterias?
- What does the outdoor space look like? Are the children able to go on walks? Do you have appropriate playgrounds for children of different ages?
- Do children spend most of their time in one room or do they use other parts of the building as well?
- Are you licensed or accredited and by whom?
- What are your hours of operation? What are your drop-off and pick-up windows?
- Can you share a copy of your calendar showing dates when you are closed?
- When do you enroll your students? How do waitlists work?
- What is the tuition? What is included in tuition?
- What type of payment plan options are available?
- Do you have a sick or missing days policy?
Early Childhood Coordinator