Choosing a daycare for your kids can be so stressful.
The anxiety of leaving them with a stranger, going back to work and the financial strain make the decision of one wrought with doubts and questions.
Having been through the daycare selection process a few times myself, I’ve got my home daycare interview down to a fine art.
As things have cropped up at my children’s daycare, I’ve added those questions to my list for the next time I’m in the market for a new provider.
An example of something that I had never thought about and which caused some issues for me – comforting the children or dealing with issues: It took an earlier than normal pick up one day last summer for me to discover that my provider stopped her toddlers from crying (over not wanting to share in this instance) by giving them cookies to quiet them. Not ok in my books.
Another provider I interviewed mentioned that, rather than a formal nap time, they all napped together on her couch, including her! Glad I asked!
Of course, it’s impossible to ask every single question and to really know what is happening behind closed doors but this comprehensive list will go a long way into helping you make a decision on which daycare to choose.
There is even a free printable version at the bottom for you to take to your interviews.
Daycare Provider Questions
- How long have you been in business? Do you have any formal qualifications?
- What are your hours?
- What’s your holiday schedule? On what other days are you closed? How does your vacation work?
- How flexible are you with pickup and drop-off times? Is there a late-pickup fee?
- Do I pay when my child is ill or we’re on vacation?
- Do you supply diapers and wipes? What else should I bring? Will you use cloth diapers?
- Will I receive a daily report of my child’s meals and activities? Do you send photos/texts throughout the day?
- Why do you work with children? What do you like most about caring for them? What do you like least about it?
- How do you discipline the children? What is your philosophy? Do you use time-outs?
- How do you comfort the children?
- Do you have up to date CPR and first aid training?
- Who else lives in the house? Do they have police background checks? Are they around the children?
- What activities do you like to do with the children? May I see a sample of a day’s schedule?
- Do you have a childproofed indoor play area?
- Do you take the children outside? Where? Walks/backyard?
- Do you drive the children anywhere? Do you have car seats installed? Are they up to date?
- Do you let the children watch television? How much?
- Do you use containment devices such as exersaucers and swings? How often?
- Must children be immunized in order to attend?
- What is your sick-child policy?
- Will you administer medications if necessary?
- Do you allow smoking in the house?
- What is your release policy? Who may pick up my child?
- Do you provide breakfast, lunch, and/or snack? May I see a sample menu?
- Will you accommodate preferences/allergies? eg. almond milk instead of whole milk.
- Do you feed babies on demand or on a schedule?
- Where do the children sleep?
- What is the nap schedule/routine? Do you do Cry It Out?
- Do you place babies on their back to sleep?
- May I contact some references?
For the free printable PDF version of these questions, just click below. Good Luck!
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