Quality child care includes both the children’s day-to-day experiences, as well as safe environments in which children can engage in interesting activities. Parents and professionals agree that a warm, nurturing adult is the most important component of quality child care. The Parent’s Child Care Checklist below will help parents find and monitor the quality of their child care program. The list can be used for children of any age and applies to licensed family child care homes, child care centers and preschools.
- My child and I are warmly greeted every day.
- I feel free to ask questions and express concerns.
- At the end of each day, I hear positive stories about my child.
- My child has friends.
- There are lots of things for my child to choose to do.
- Caregivers enjoy playing and talking with children.
- It is easy for children to wash their hands throughout the day.
- Children are offered a variety of healthy foods.
- Indoor and outdoor space is clean and organized.
- My child learns about things she is interested in.
- My child likes “going to school.”
If you have checked most of the above statements, it is likely you have found the right program for your child. Parents should also ask about the ratio of adults to children, group size, staff training, staff turnover, and whether the site is nationally accredited. Parents can telephone Community Care Licensing at (510) 622-2602 for a program’s licensing history.
For help finding the best child care program for your family, contact one of our Resource & Referral offices.