Share |

Important questions to ask when choosing daycare

  1. Ask about the center's discipline policy, i.e. is there a timeout?
  2. Ask about their "outdoors" policy.  A lot of daycares keep kids inside duing winter. they have absolutely no way to get energy out and are crazy wired, when get home.
  3. What is the teacher turn over (how long current teachers have been employed?)
  4. Who makes food, where (Ask to see the kitchen if on site)
  5. See the bathrooms, make sure they are separate from adults.
  6. Where do the kids sleep (and how is their bedding stored)
  7. Ask if they force feed the kids. (One member stated: "I was asked if I want my child fed even if she did not want to eat.") Some dc's will let the kid starve, some will make sure he/she eats at least something.
  8. Ask if you need to provide the bedding.
  9. Ask if they have a camera that you can watch your kid online. Some daycares (American ones) have that for additional charge.
  10. Ask when is the place cleaned (as in afterhours or during when the kids are there, a good indicator is who does the cleaning, the teachers or a separate person)
  11. Ask do they change shoes (and by they I mean the teachers, Ive seen a DC where kids change shoes, but the teacher waltzes in her uggs.
  12. Ask if they have Universal Pre-K.
  13. Inquire what their policy is on the sick kids: who is considered sick enough to be excluded.
  14. Ask if they have holidays (utrenniki) and if they tape them. (One member stated: "Our daycare tapes them and gives them to parents who missed.")
  15. Ask what their candy policy is. (Member stated: "Sometimes, teachers give kids candy for good behavior - to some parents thats a no-no.")
  16. If it matters to you, ask if they speak English to kids.
  17. Dont be shy about asking to sample the food they've cooked. (One member stated: "The DC where my son went would often offer me to try whatever they were cooking that day.. At least I knew my son ate yummy kotletki, sirnichki etc.")
  18. Ask how they handle toilet-training.
  19. Also very important to ask about open door policy. (One member stated: "Some daycares never allow parent to come in and just always take kids at the door. Ask if you need to pick up your child earlier/drop off later what's their rules for that.")
  20. Ask if kids of different ages are commingled together. (One member stated: "Our daycare keeps them separate during the day, however, my 15 months son has to be in the company of 5 year olds outside and in the evening. I do not mind, it teaches him how to boss others even in this tender age".)
  21. Ask what the pickup policy is - it is very important that the daycare is strict as to who will pick up the child.
  22. Ask how often are toys washed? What do they use to clean them?
  23. Ask if teachers use gloves when handling food and when changing diapers?
  24. Ask if children taught to wash their hands before eating and after using the toilet?
  25. Walk in and see if soap and paper towels are fully stocked in the bathrooms.
  26. Very important: ask if there a safety plan in place in case of an emergency?
  27. Ask if hazardous materials kept out of reach of children?
  28. Ask if there a first aid kit?
  29. Ask if they have smoke detectors?
  30. Ask if fire exits marked and caregivers knowledgeable in a fire safety plan?
  31. Look around and see if heating vents and radiators covered or inaccessible to children?