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Old 04-20-2009, 02:21 PM   #1
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What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

It looks like DD may have to go into daycare for the months of June and July while I go to school Mon-Fri. I am not happy about it because I swore she'd only go to a day SCHOOL when she was older just for interaction with kids her own age. So at 6 months she may be going I need information on what to look for in a daycare and what questions to ask when I go hunting around. I would really like to find someone to watch DD at our house but we live so far out that I doubt that will happen. So I just want to be prepared if we need to use a daycare. Thanks for all your info!

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Old 04-20-2009, 03:56 PM   #2
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

What does a day in the life of my child look like while in your care?
Where does she sleep?
Are the older children supervised 100% of the time around babies? How old are the younger children when they are left unsupervised with the other children?( ask this! Very important! We providers have to fix meals, use the restroom, potty train, change diapers, etc. This will take her out of the room sometimes)
If my child has a clingy day, what will you do?
If the other children go outside, does my child also? What will they be doing outside?
How often are the babies fed & changed & napped?
Who will be allowed to hold my baby?
How do you discipline the children?(gives you insight into trouble shooting situations, your child shouldn't be disciplined so young)
The provider should always ask about your child's likes & dislikes. How to clam them when they are upset. Special things the are interested in.
If they show an interest in getting to know your child at the interview then you know they will care about your child not just for your child.
Follow your instincts.
Good luck!
See if you can get a mama to come to your home. You never know. Times are tough right now.
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Old 04-21-2009, 05:16 AM   #3
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

you should also know the names of all adults who will be in the setting on a regular basis. For example husbands, boyfriends, adult children, neighbors. You will want to run record checks on all of the adults the same as you would the provider (advice from my MIL who is a district attorney.)

Also ask about meals/milk and diapering supplies. Some places provide them all, others provide only meals but not milks. Also ask about menus because some places think doritos and juice are fine snacks for babies and you may disagree,

Ask a bout TV policies. Is there one in the room, will it be on, what will be playing?
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

Are you planning on using a home-based or a center-based daycare? Questions vary greatly depending.

For me and my child - we felt it best for DD to be in a center-based daycare, though it is privately owned (by a married couple) - still it's a center.

Anyway - for home-based, you'd have to ask about who/when/why will be there possibly through any given day, the ages and the interaction potential of any of the other children, meals, etc. Oh, and what to do in case of emergency or if the provider is ill or unable to work, for whatever reason.

For center-based - you'd ask about meal policies, about diapering (do they provide them or do you), about naps, about illnesses, about the security (who is in the building at any given time and how to gain access to the building), like background checks and the like, the ratio (in DD's daycare it's 4 infants for every 1 provider, but as they get older it changes some, now DD is in an older room and it's 5:1), whether there's TV, about the general structure, etc. Outside time and how it's handled and when they go outside, etc.

For us - we wanted to be sure that only a LIMITED amount of people were around my child, at any given time - at her center, the ONLY people who are around her are center employees, the center owners (sometimes their children), parents of the other children and no one else. You are issued a security badge at registration and that's how you get in and out. No TV, no movies... none of that... and they've got two play areas outdoors (one for the smaller children - under 3 - and one for the older children) and their days are structured and interactive. They provide meals, but not diapers or wipes.

ETA - DD is 21 months and in a room with children, who vary in age from 17 months to 2.5 (or a little older, depending on their maturity and learning level).

Last edited by MW69842; 04-21-2009 at 04:34 PM.
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Old 04-21-2009, 04:39 PM   #5
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

If you look into a home based care situation be sure to ask them about their summer vacation plans. If the child care provider decides to take a vacation you'll probably have no care for a week! I never really thought about that until I had to take a week of my own annual leave (unplanned) to stay at home while my day care provider went to the beach!
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:09 PM   #6
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

Oh, and ask about what classes & childhood education experience they have. Training, etc. If it's a center, ask the staff turnover rate & child turnover rate. If it's a home childcare, ask for total years experience & child turnover rate.
When you get references, request 1 parent who is still at the facility. 1 who has left due to moving or child getting too old & going to school, and 1 who just left to change daycare. This will give you a broad range of parent experiences & insight.
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:18 PM   #7
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

Wow these are great questions. I am assuming I'll have to use a center based facility. I am not sure I am comfortable leaving my child with someone I don't know at their house. My ultimate plan is to find someone to come to my house but I know I can't guarantee that will happen. Does anyone prefer a church daycare over a non church daycare?
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Old 04-21-2009, 08:53 PM   #8
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Re: What to look for in a daycare provider/what questions to as

I don't have any experience with centers, church vs non-church. Are you religious?
I get what you mean about not trusting a person you don't know to watch your baby at their own home.
That's why I do my own home daycare. Just can't make that leap of trust myself. Odd, isn't it? And here I ask others to do the thing I can't.
So I feel ya, mama.
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