Parents’ concerns and questions will vary by the age and needs of their child. Here are some general questions to ask caregivers. Contact the state Department of Health and Human Services licensing office to check on the status of a center’s license: 297-3000.

How long have you been in business?

Do you have a current state license?

Do you have any other accreditations? If so, what are they?

Can you provide references from current and former clients?

Do you welcome visits from parents?

How do you communicate with parents? Will I get daily reports about what my child did during the day?

Can I bring my child for a pre-enrollment visit?

What is the caregiver-to-child ratio?

What is the education and training of the primary caregiver? What assistants and helpers will interact with my child? What is their training and experience?

What are the center’s plans for additional training for staff?

What kind of staff turnover do you have? What’s the main reason for turnover?

How do you discipline children?

Do all workers have training in infant and child CPR? First aid?

Are television or videos used during the day?

Will my child ever be left unattended?

Do you have a child-proofed indoor play area? Do you have an enclosed outside play area?

What will my child be doing during the day? Do you share the daily schedule/routine?

Must children be immunized in order to attend?

What if my child needs medication during the day?

For home-based caregivers: Do you allow smoking in the house?

How often are the toys cleaned and replaced?

Do you have a sign-in and sign-out sheet for children? Are the doors locked so strangers can’t gain access?

Who may pick up my child after day care?

Do any visitors not affiliated with the day care enter the building during the day?

Do you feed babies on demand or on a schedule?

Where do the children sleep? Do you have a nap schedule?

Are appropriate safety devices in place, such as fire extinguishers, fire alarms and first aid kit? 

SOURCE: babycenter.com; National Association for the Education of Young Children