DAY CARE HOMES
POINTS TO REMEMBER
You want your child to be happy, safe, and get the kind of
attention you would give. That's one of the reasons to consider
a day care home. Now, you need to find the right home and the
- It's important to take time to screen caregivers carefully.
- It's important to be comfortable with your child's
caregiver and surroundings.
- Ask questions.
- Check references.
- Visit the home. First, by yourself. If the home looks
good, bring your child and watch what happens.
CHECKPOINTS--WHAT TO LOOK FOR
- Interview caregivers first to make sure they will work with
your daily schedule and your needs.
- Good, flexible hours
- Affordable fees that include formula, meals, and snacks
- Six or less children--no more than three children under two
years of age
- Experienced caregiver
- Ask what experiences the person has.
- Ask why the person likes working with children.
- Make sure the person's ideas on raising children are like yours.
- Enjoys children, is warm and affectionate
- Responds quickly to children's needs
- Talks and plays with children
- Sets rules gently at all times
- Has training in child development, safety, and first aid
- However small or large the home is there should be enough space
- The house should be in good shape.
- There should be a pleasing environment.
- Well-lit and airy
- Bright, cheerful setting
- Clean and in good condition
- Good play areas inside and out
- Suitable furniture and equipment for the ages of children
Toys and Equipment
- Check to see that toys and equipment are safe and in
- Books and toys should match the ages of the children.
Health and Safety
- Check the home carefully to make sure small
swallowable items and dangerous supplies are out of reach.
- There should be written steps in case of illness or
- Meals should be well-balanced and snacks should be served.
- Smoke detectors/fire extinguishers
- Window guards/stair gates
- Radiators covered, electical outlets capped
- First aid training/supplies
- Clean kitchen and bathroom
- Healthy meals and snacks
- See if the children seem happy and comfortable.
- Are the children free to touch things and move around?
- Are the activities right for your child's age and stage of
- Activities suitable for ages of children
- Active and quiet times
- Indoor and outdoor play
- Flexible snack and meal times
- Naps or quiet resting times
Parents are Involved
- Parents should have a close relationship with the caregiver.
- Daily communication is important.
- Ask about your child's day, naptime, mealtime, and playtime.
- Talk about your child's growth and problems.
- Parents are welcome in the home at any time.
- Parents meet regularly with caregiver.
WHERE TO START
- Starting Point for child care and
early education is a resource and referral agency for child care.
- It is the place for parents to start when choosing a child
- Starting Point created this checklist--to show you what
to look for to ensure a good child care experience--for your
child and for you.
- Starting Point does not rate, screen, or recommend any child
If you have any questions about child care or would like a list
of child care providers in your area, call the Starting Point
Parent Hotline at (216) 431-1818 or 1-800-880-0971 (outside the
Starting Point can help you find the right child care provider
and answer any questions you may have on child care.
Starting Point for child care and early education