2nd Trimester

Daycare questions

Hello all,

 DH and I are visiting our first daycare tomorrow - does anyone have a list of questions that we should ask?  Thanks!

Re: Daycare questions

  • My biggest concern for a daycare is if my baby will be stimulated/played with/shown attention during the day...
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  • I asked:

    What is the ratio of teacher to child at each age group?

    How do they sterilize their toys?

    What happens if you're late picking them up one day?

    What is the limit on the "pick up list"? (ours is me, DH, MIL, Mom and my best friend who's daughter also goes to that daycare) And what is the process for adding an extra person one day? (if my sister is in town and helping me out)

    Who sets the feeding schedule?

    What is the sickness policy?

    Rate?

    Do they allow daytime mommy visits?

    Do they have a webcam?

    What's the average turnover of teachers?

    And then I talked to the baby teachers about holding my baby and rocking it - how do they interact with the children? 

  • go when the children are awake in the morning and not during nap time. Talk with the teachers. Ask how often they disinfect the toys. Ask how many teachers per child. Are they rated by the state or have any special certifications?

     

    Our DD hated daycare because she is a quiet only child and was put into a room with 24 kids, she was in shock. She does a lot better with an in-home sitter.  Had she been exposed at a younger age she would have done better.

  • If you do a google search you can find a complete list.  Sorry I'm to lazy to type mine out for you.
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  • There is an interview sheet on babycenter.com. Just search "day care interview" and it should pop up.

    I'd ask, too, about academics. Do they actually try to teach the kids something, or is it just a babysitting service? That was the deal-breaker for us on one of our options.

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  • How many infants per carer?

    Do you have to provide diapers/wipes/snacks?

    Where do the infants nap?

    Do you provide linens for crib?

    Are infants separated from toddlers?

    What are the qualifications of the carers?

    What security measures do they have?

    Sick policy?

     

  • I dont' know where you live but each state has a State Agency that licenses home and center daycares.  Attached is link of my states tips on choosing a daycare which includes some questions. This could be helpful to you.  Or go on your state website and find something similar.

    http://www.eec.state.ma.us/docs/ChoosingChildCareFINAL_ENGLISH.pdf

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  • I have a great list that I used when I went to interview.  It is in Excel if you want me to email it to you.

     

  • I worked at a day care and loved my job, but there are many that do work there that don't. And the ?'s you asked are not always carried out, like how they disinfect all the toys and the sickness policy. If you like a daycare you went to today I would show up randomly one day so there is no prep time for the teachers. Web-cam if you can afford that kind of day care is always a stress reliver as well. We had the web-cam at our day-care even though everything seemed in slow motion parents would come in and talk about what they saw on the web-cam. The most embarrising was us teachers doing somersaults with the toddlers and a parent commenting on it LOL! I would also see if they have lesson plans and see when they get older like the toddler room what those lesson plans are. You want your child to have free-time but then be stimulated to keep them busy as well. Another thing I would ask is there a primary caregiver. For example there was 4 children per teacher, and we would always change our 4 children and get there art ready for the day and sit down and do art with them as well. We always played with other children but this way your child gets to know one teacher and feels closer to that one teacher. Hope this all helps =)
  • From my experience, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable there.  You just know.

     Also, ask about the wait list and how they notify you when your spot is open.  I've heard of places that you must have to start paying for if your spot opens up early even if you're not ready to start bringing your baby there.  Be sure that you can start bringing the baby when you need them there without paying for unused weeks.

  • image music247:
    My biggest concern for a daycare is if my baby will be stimulated/played with/shown attention during the day...

     

    WOW she hit this one right on the nose, i used to work at a daycare, and it seemed like all our newborn mommies were so unaware of any of our policies or procedures, i might also ask about breast milk if you plan to pump, at our daycare center we had moms bring in their pumped milk (labeled of course) and we heated the milk up in the bottle in a crock pot, we also welcomed nursing mother visits!

  • image ArmyBride0604:

    I asked:

    What is the ratio of teacher to child at each age group?

    How do they sterilize their toys?

    What happens if you're late picking them up one day?

    What is the limit on the "pick up list"? (ours is me, DH, MIL, Mom and my best friend who's daughter also goes to that daycare) And what is the process for adding an extra person one day? (if my sister is in town and helping me out)

    Who sets the feeding schedule?

    What is the sickness policy?

    Rate?

    Do they allow daytime mommy visits?

    Do they have a webcam?

    What's the average turnover of teachers?

    And then I talked to the baby teachers about holding my baby and rocking it - how do they interact with the children? 

    sorry i quoted the wrong post, this is the one i meant to quote, kudos to you for knowing your stuff!

  • babycenter.com has a list of questions.  So does qualistar.org and they also have a checklist.  I focused on ratio, turnover rate of staff, schedules of infants, homemade food and general gut feel to see if the kids looked interested and happy.  Be sure to check out the older rooms too as you need to be satisfied there as well because your DC won't be in the infant room forever.  Also, I asked about dropping-in and whether that was okay.  If it wasn't, made me wonder...


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    DD -- 5YO
    DS -- 3YO

  • Thank you to everyone for your help - this is great and I'll definitely check out the lists on babycenter.com.
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