As you start your search, keep in mind that daycare waiting lists can be long — nine to 12 months, or even longer. Start looking early in order to secure your child’s spot!
Here are some daycare visit questions to keep in your back pocket as you tour different options.
Top Daycare Visit Questions to Ask a Child Care Provider
Here are some questions to keep in mind — add these to your list or use them to inspire other daycare visit questions you might have. Asking questions upfront will help you feel more comfortable and confident when you make a final decision.
What is the cost of daycare tuition? Does the center accept subsidies?
Find out what tuition costs for each age group so you know what to expect. How and when is tuition paid? Does the cost vary depending on the hours and days your child attends? Additionally, if applicable to you, ask whether they accept a child care subsidy. Understanding what to budget for is an excellent first step.
Is there a waiting list?
Timing is everything — ask whether your ideal start date is available. And if it isn’t, ask how long you’ll have to wait to get a spot for your child.
What are their qualifications?
Ask about the center’s licensing and accreditation status, and find out what the caregivers’ qualifications are. How long have they been in the early education field? Do they hold degrees and/or certifications? When you’re finding daycare that’s right for your little one, this can be one of the most important factors.
What do the daycare’s health and safety policies include?
Get the full scope. How are babies placed when they’re sleeping? How frequently are play, nap, and eating areas cleaned and sanitized? What’s used after sanitization to ensure the areas and toys are then safe for kids to use? What are the facility’s mask and COVID testing policies? Ask any questions you have that will make you feel more comfortable about your child’s health and safety at daycare.
Is there a weekly learning plan or curriculum?
And how does the curriculum or learning plan differ for each age group? Generally, daycare curriculum should support all areas of development. Look for a range of curriculum elements including reading, math, science, art, social-emotional skills, movement, and more.
What does a typical day look like for a child?
How are children engaged throughout the day? How is the day broken up into meal times, outdoor play, classroom experiences, nap time, and more? This can give you a glimpse into the curriculum, as well as the daily schedule your child might experience.
What are their drop-in policies?
Is the provider you’re considering also a drop-in daycare? Do they offer back-up child care? If your child only attends a few days a week, but you happen to need care on a day they don’t normally go to daycare, having these options can be a big help.
What is the discipline policy?
This is an essential question that many parents need answered. Think about the answer you’re looking for before you ask the question; then, ask what they do if a child misbehaves or does something wrong. Do they talk about feelings and offer support? Is there a relaxing space in the classroom where children can go when they need to take a minute to themselves? What are the “consequences” for misbehavior — and will you be notified when your child has a challenging day?
Why It’s Important to Ask Daycare Visit QuestionsChoosing a daycare for your child is a big decision — you want to be sure your child is getting the best possible care, and asking daycare visit questions can help you make an informed choice. Daycare providers expect a wide range of questions — and, rest assured, there are no wrong ones!
Before you visit, start thinking of the ideal answers to your questions. This can help you set your expectations. And if a daycare doesn’t answer your daycare tour questions well enough, or you just don’t get the right feeling during your visit, it’s time to move onto the next.