Learn About Daycare Visits

Why Visit a daycare?

Before starting care, a daycare visit can provide value by having a family meet teachers and directors in-person or via a Zoom visit. At a daycare visit, families should be able to see the indoor and outdoor learning spaces, discuss schedules and any special needs and have time to get all health and safety questions answered.

Teacher in mask at daycare with young toddler | Bright Horizons health and safety

Bright Horizons is More than Daycare

Early Education & Preschool That's More Than Daycare

We know that families that needs daycare for their child is faced with a big choice. After all, most parents want the best for their children. A mother finishing a first maternity leave, or a parent of a young child, is making a choice about a critical time in their child’s development, and any accurate information they can collect when making the choice is helpful. We believe it is our responsibility to protect a child's health, safety, and well-being, provide environments and experiences that capture the joys of childhood, and nurture each child’s individual development, paving the way for success in school and life. Search by zip to schedule a visit at a Bright Horizons center near you!

Daycare Visits at Bright Horizons

  1. View the interactive visit experience below.
  2. Search by Zip to find a center near you to visit in-person or on Zoom.
  3. Download our Child Care checklist so you know what to ask on a daycare visit
  4. Let us show you what we're learning in our classrooms today!
Visiting a daycare center in person allows a parent to gain valuable information that can only be learned by physically being present at a facility, such as the overall cleanliness or the amount of natural light. A daycare tour also gives the parent the opportunity to interact with the daycare teachers and get a feel for the kind of people they are. A visit is a critical step in choosing quality early education for your child.

What to do before a daycare visit:

  1. Download a child care checklist or similar document to help organize the questions you'd like to cover at your visit
  2. Use a center locator to be sure you have the correct address if you have an in-person visit
  3. Test your computer or phone's connection if you have a Zoom visit

Before visiting a daycare, a parent should communicate with the daycare facility and arrange a time to visit. It is unlikely that a daycare facility will allow surprise visits from adults. If the daycare does allow an adult to enter the area of the daycare where children are being cared for without a prior appointment, this should be considered a serious problem with the daycare. An exception is during an open house or other child care event, when parents are encouraged to visit. If the parent only wants to make sure the daycare is physically safe and environmentally age-appropriate, the visit can occur outside of the hours when children are being cared for. However, in order to see how the caregivers interact with the children in their care, it is valuable to visit during operating hours. 

How to know if a daycare has safe places for children to play

There are many things to look for when visiting a daycare, and the easiest parts to appraise are the physical conditions of the child care center. A parent visiting should first look for the most obvious physical dangers relative to the age of their child. How does the center approach child safety in daycare? They should think about how they have child-proofed their own homes; drawers, doors, and cupboards should be child-proofed. The children shouldn’t have access to anything they can hurt themselves on. If the physical environment is safe, the next question is will it be stimulating for the child. Is there music for child development? Is there a place for pretend play? Does the staff spend time reading to babies

What to look for from daycare teachers

Childcare providers may have a different approach to child care than a parent. For a parent that devotes their entire focus to a child, it may be disconcerting to see a caregiver that takes a more hands-off approach. Just because a caregiver isn’t hovering over a child doesn’t mean they aren’t actually caring for the children. However, if the caregiver is watching television or using their phone, a parent should have serious misgivings about the facility. Be sure to see that:

  • Daycare teachers should be consistent and conscientious; children develop best when the adults that care for them provide consistent responses to a child’s behaviors. This helps the child understand cause and effect, and allows them to learn to count on people. 
  • Daycare teachers should understand how children develop friendships, even at the infant stage
  • All daycare staff should be able to answer questions about emergency evacuation plans and how to respond to an allergic reaction in a child. Be sure to cover all health and safety policies of a center on your daycare visit.
  • The number of caregivers should be in line with state or local licensing agreements, and ideally should follow the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) standards of caregiver-to-child ratios.

mother holding child

Get Started Today

Find a center near you to get started with Bright Horizons

Or call us to start the conversation 877-624-4532

Bright Horizons is a United States–based child-care provider and is the largest provider of employer-sponsored child care. Employees looking to become a child care teacher are offered the opportunity to earn an early education degree for free as part of their corporate benefits. Search by zip to find a child care center near you. Bright Horizons Global Headquarters are in Newton, Massachusetts, USA.