Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Daycare Provider

Great daycare providers tend to fill their available slots in fairly short order, which is why it’s so important for parents to start their search early and be prepared in advance. Interviewing a daycare provider provides you with an ideal opportunity to evaluate the establishment and staff, but can be a bit overwhelming, especially for parents with limited daycare experience. Approaching each interview with a premade list of questions ensures that you are prepared for the occasion, and lowers the chances of you forgetting to ask about the issues which are important to you. While it’s likely you’ll want to add your own unique concerns to this list, these are some of the questions you should make a point of asking when interviewing a daycare provider.

Is your facility licensed? – While licensing requirements vary on the state and local level, an unlicensed facility may not be the best choice for your child.

Do you have additional accreditations? – Many high-quality daycare centers are accredited by organizations like NAEYC or NAFCC.

What is your typical child-to-staff ratio? Children enrolled in programs with a low child-to-staff ratio have been shown to have a better overall experience in child care and early education programs.

What is your facility’s policy on immunizations? Vaccinations have become a hot-button topic for parents, so it’s important to know each daycare provider’s policy on immunization schedules.

How flexible are drop-off and pick-up times? – Some daycare providers are more flexible with pick-up and drop-off times than others. You may be charged additional fees for early drop-off or late pick-up through some providers.

Does your facility have a special holiday schedule? – Holidays may be the last thing on your mind during an interview, but not knowing this information can pose a scheduling issue on or near special days.

Which supplies do I need to bring for my child? – You may be expected to provide diapers and wipes, food or other supplies. Learn what you’ll need to send with your child, and what the daycare provides as part of their service.

Are parent visits encouraged? – Because a daycare provider will be putting their best face forward during the interview, you may want to drop in unannounced to observe the facility. Some providers welcome visits, while others are less enthusiastic.

How is daily information communicated to parents? – Keeping up with what happened each day and being informed about upcoming events is important. Does the daycare send out emails, letters or verbally communicate this information?

What education and experience requirements do you have for staff? – Some states require a specific level of secondary education for childcare providers and staff, while others do not. Ask about education and experience to ensure your child will be in capable hands.

How frequent is staff turnover in your facility? – Facilities with high turnover may also have internal problems which aren’t immediately obvious. High turnover can indicate a low-quality program, and can present problems when your child becomes attached to his caregivers.

What kind of curriculum does your facility have in place? – Creative and exploratory play is crucial to early development, but a structured curriculum is also important. Determine how your child will be coached in reaching developmental milestones.

Who administers medication to the children? – The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration estimates almost 70,000 children under the age of five were treated for accidental drug ingestion in 2008. Unintentional over-medication can be a very real issue in daycare settings where the responsibility of administering medication is handled in a lax manner.

Can you tell me about your release policy? – Learn how a daycare provider handles daily pick-ups to ensure the safety of your child. Are children signed out by authorized adults or is the policy less stringent?

What kind of meals are provided to children throughout the day? – Food allergies and good nutrition are crucial factors, which is why it’s so important for parents to learn how meals are prepared and served. Will you be expected to send food each day, or does the facility provide nutritious meals and snacks?

14 thoughts on “Questions to Ask When Interviewing a Daycare Provider

  1. Thanks for sharing this informative post, and told us about Approaching each interview with a premade list of questions ensures that we are prepared for the occasion, and lowers the chances, forgetting to ask about the issues which are important for us. really looking forward to read more, keep up the good work.

  2. I had never considered that it would be a good idea to visit the daycare unexpectedly. I can see why this would be a good way to see the provider in their natural state. My sister is going to be needing to find a daycare for her two children while she and her husband are at work. I’ll have to suggest that she do this with the provider she is thinking of hiring.

  3. I like that you mentioned to find out what kind of education and experience is necessary to work at the childcare center. That way, you can be confident on the teachers’ and staff’s abilities to handle your kids and do a good job. We are trying to find the right childcare center for our son during the days. I will be sure to keep these questions in mind as we search.

  4. We are in need of a new daycare for our children, and we need help in knowing how to find the right one for them. I like that you said that we need to make sure to ask about what the experience and education requirements they have for their staff. This will be really helpful for me to know so that I will know our kids are in capable hands.

  5. yeah, my wife is working in the vehicle transport company, due to which she drops our baby in daycare, I really appreciate the staff caring for children. and special thanks to them.

  6. I like that you said to ask about the child-to-staff ratio beforehand since lower ratios tend to be better for the kid. Our son is getting old enough that we want to start introducing him to daycare so he can socialize and be prepared to start school. Finding a place with fewer kids could help him have a better experience.

  7. Thank you for telling me that some daycare centers expect the parents to provide diapers and wipes when they leave their children in their care. I’ll be taking care of my mother-in-law while my husband is away and there’s no way I could divide my time between an elderly and a child. I’ll try to look around for nearby daycare centers and ask if they provide in-home services I might need in the future.

  8. As you mentioned, asking what the child to staff ratio is should be a question that is asked during the interviewing process. I am planning on going back to work in a few months, and we need to find child care for our little one. I will have to keep these questions on hand as I go to different facilities.

  9. I never thought to ask about how food was given throughout the day and if I need to send it with my child, or if it is provided. We are looking to get our little one into daycare as it is time for me to go back to work. She is a very picky eater, so I will have to discuss this when I am trying to decide where to send her.

  10. I want to find a good daycare, but I’m not sure how to do it. It makes sense that I would want to interview the caretakers before I choose one! That seems like a good way to ensure that they will be able to take good care of my son. I’ll make sure that I find a daycare that is passionate about their job.

  11. It really helped when you talked about daycares and how to find a high-quality one. Recently, my wife and I decided it’s time to find a daycare for our son. We need to find a preschool as soon as possible, so we’ll check your tips out. Thanks for the advice on asking about a daycare license before selecting it.

  12. I’m glad you mentioned that it is a good idea to find a licensed childcare facility. I need to find a daycare center for my daughter. Leaving my daughter with a licensed daycare center will help me feel much better.

  13. Thanks for the reminder that I should also consider the way teacher communicate with parents when looking for a good child daycare center. I plan to look for one soon because I think it would be nice for my child to play with other children. That will be crucial in developing his social skills early on.

  14. You made a good point that it’s essential to look for good communication skills when planning to find a good daycare service. I’d like to find a good service like that because I want my son to be able to interact with other kids. That will surely help him get more use to a school setting in the future.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.