Tips and resources for finding the right childcare option for your family.
Published: October 31, 2018
By: Childcare Resources
Finding the right child care option for your family can take time, so start early! A good way to begin is to contact Childcare Resources by calling 205-945-0018, x317, or go online to www.ccr-bhm.org for a FREE customized listing of child care options.
To make an informed choice, visit child care programs and ask questions: What is your staff to child ratio? What is your classroom or group size? What is your caregiver education and turnover? How do you make sure you’re addressing the children’s health and safety? Is your program accredited? How much family involvement do you allow? After you make your choice, stay involved! Your child care provider and you are partners, and you should participate in your child’s program regularly.
Here is a checklist and questions to ask:
Documents You Should See Posted:
- Most recent DHR license, if licensed
- Most recent licensing evaluation form, if licensed
- Most recent deficiency report, if applicable
- Corrective or adverse action notices, if applicable
- Most recent fire inspection report
- Most recent health department inspection report and food permit or written permission from the health department to cater food
- Menu for meals and snacks
- Emergency names and numbers for fire department, law enforcement, medical assistance, poison control center and substitute help
- Emergency procedures
General Questions to Ask:
- Are you licensed or exempt from licensure?
- Is your program nationally accredited?
- Are background checks required for all staff members?
- How long has the program been in operation?
- What is the staff to child ratio?
- How many children will be in my child’s group?
- What is your discipline policy?
- How do you handle medical, fire and weather emergencies?
- May I drop in and visit at any time?
Caregivers and Teachers:
- Do the caregivers seem to really like children?
- Do the caregivers get down on each child’s level to speak with the child?
- Are children’s needs quickly met even when things are busy?
- Are caregivers trained in CPR, first aid and early childhood development?
- Are parents’ ideas welcomed?
- Are there ways for you to get involved?
- Are caregivers trained and experienced?
- Is the atmosphere bright and pleasant?
- Is the outside play area fenced and does it have safe and age-appropriate equipment?
- Is the environment clean and orderly?
- Are children involved in a variety of activities with a balance of quiet and busy time?
- Is a daily schedule or a lesson plan posted?
- Are there plenty of age-appropriate, clean, safe toys, books and materials?
- Are toys within reach of the children?