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How To - A guide to choosing the right daycare

Updated on February 17, 2016

There is no ridiculous question or demand when it comes to your child.

-Ask if all the children in the facility are up to date on their immunizations. If you are hiring someone to come to your home, make sure they are immunized and healthy, as well.

-Most state requirements for a licensed facility allow up to 14 children. The child to caregiver ratio should be adequate as well. There should be one caregiver per three small children or infants and one caregiver per six toddlers or preschoolers. If a caregiver has his hands full with more than that, you want to cross them off of your list.


Safety Precautions and Measures

-Ask if the caregivers are CPR Certified. They should have at least one who is also certified in first aid. You want to make sure that the caregivers are trained properly in emergency situations.

-Ask about cleaning and disinfecting policies. Make sure that the cleaning supplies are kept away from the children's area. Ask about safety procedures when it comes to toxic chemicals.

Become educated about the facility

-If your child takes daily medications, make sure there is someone who is designated to administer medication safely. Good facilities will have a pediatric nurse who is there for medication and minor injuries.

-If your child is an infant, make sure they have sleep safe practices. Ask about the training employees have when it comes to prevention of SIDS.

-Ask about feeding and food safety. If your child has food allergies, they should have a plan in place. If other children have food allergies you will want to know, so you don't send anything with your child that may harm someone else.


-Ask to sit in for an hour and observe the day care. If not, ask to speak to parents who already have children there. Find out what they think the pros and cons are when it comes to their children's needs.

-Take a tour and look around. You want to make sure that the caregivers are compassionate. You want to make sure the enviroment is stimulating and safe. Look at how caregivers interact with other children. Look around the room for games and activites and point out anything you dislike.

-See if there are cameras or security networks which allow the parent to sign in at anytime and observe the day care.

State requirements

-Last, make sure all the staff have passed background checks. Make sure the facility has passed state licensing requirements and that they are registered with Family Care and Safety Registry. Look them up online and make sure they have never had any cases of neglect or complaints.

This is your child. You have the right to be careful about who you leave him with. If they seem annoyed by your questions or concerns, they are probably not someone you want to leave your child with.

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