Information Referral page

Questions to Ask a Childcare Provider










A Veteran Mom from Boot Camp for New Moms shared this list of questions she asks potential child care providers. Use it as is or to help you come up with your own set of questions as you interview nannies, sitters, agencies, day care facilities, etc.


Business Info

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Are you licensed by the state?
  • What is that number?
  • What does that really mean as a provider?
  • Are you inspected by the state?
  • How many kids are you/is the facility licensed for? How many infants?
  • How many kids do you have currently?
  • Does this include after-school-only children?
  • May I please have a list of references?
  • Cost?
  • How much notice is needed if I decide to switch day cares?
  • What is your billing policy? Do you provide receipts for income tax credits?
  • Deposit - change my mind, move, etc? What happens?
  • Do you have rules on sick time/vacation? Are we still required to pay? Is it discounted?

Daily Routine

  • If I wanted to come in and breastfeed, do you have a place where that would be possible?
  • Are you comfortable with breastmilk for feedings when I cannot come in? Do you have a refrigerator for storing bottles?
  • Do you feed babies on demand or on a schedule?
  • Where do the children sleep?
  • Do you have a nap schedule?
  • Do you provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snack? What kinds?
  • What does Montisorri mean for an infant?
  • What is a typical day like?
  • Do you take the children on walks through the neighborhood?
  • What potty-training methods do you use for toddlers?
  • What other supplies would I need to bring for my child?
  • What do you expect from me as a parent?
  • How do you communicate with parents? Will you give me a daily report or is there another process for informing parents of what children did during the day (naps, bottles, BMs, etc.)?

Safety

  • Do you have first-aid training? Are you certified in infant and child CPR?
  • Will anyone else be caring for the children at any time?
  • Will anyone else be in the house while the children are there?
  • Do any of these people have a criminal record of any kind?
  • Have you/they had criminal record checks?
  • What is your security policy? (doors locked, etc.)
  • Do you smoke?
  • Do you have pets?
  • Must children be immunized in order to attend?
  • What is your policy on sick kids? Do you send kids home at the first hint of a sniffle, or do you wait until a child has a fever?
  • What do you do if a child gets sick while there?
  • Do caregivers wash their hands after changing diapers and before feeding the children?
  • Are older children taught to wash their hands after using the potty?
  • How often are the toys cleaned and replaced?
  • What is your release policy? Who may pick up my child?

Scheduling/Rules

  • What do you do if YOU are sick/vacation/etc. Will we be notified? How early?
  • Do you have a substitute that you use? Can I get their name?
  • On which holidays do you close?
  • What kind of things would make you call me in the middle of the day? (crying 2 hrs, pulling on ear, hit by another child)
  • What would you do if my baby cried inconsolably?
  • How do you discipline children when you see tantrums, pushing, fighting, and arguments?
  • What if something catastrophic happens and I am stuck on the highway for 3 hours, what would you do?
  • What do you like most about caring for infants/children? What do you like least? Why did you decide to become a child-care provider?
  • Do you have any other rules?

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