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Four steps to find the right child care

Some Questions to Ask

3) Interview each program you're considering

Call each of the child care providers you are considering. Speak to the person in charge, such as the supervisor or a home visitor at a private-home day care agency. If they are not available, ask when would be a good time to call again.

When you call, have a list of questions ready to ask the child care provider. The answers to these questions can help you choose the places you want to visit.

Here are some questions to ask agencies and different child care providers:

  • How does the agency choose providers?
  • What happens when providers are sick or on vacation?
  • Do providers have special training?
  • What is the agency's philosophy or approach when working with providers?
  • What kind of activities do providers do with the children? Are there opportunities to experience art, music, group and individual play and indoor and outdoor play?
  • What hours of care are available? Are they flexible?
  • How many children are at each location?
  • What age groups are at each location?
  • How soon is care available?
  • What is the cost of care? Are there any additional charges? Is there a charge when children are sick or away on holiday? Is there an application fee?
  • Is transportation provided if children have to travel a distance to and from school?
  • Is a fee subsidy available?
  • What are your hours?
  • How many children do you care for (including your own)? What are the ages of the children you have in care?
  • Who else lives in the home and may or may not have access to your child?
  • What training do you have?
  • What areas of the home will the children have access to?
  • What kinds of meals and snacks are provided? Are they nutritious?
  • How do you deal with children's misbehaviour? Offer “what if” scenarios. For example, what if a child hits another child? What if a child throws a tantrum over a toy another child is playing with?
  • Do you toilet train children and how do you approach the training?
  • Do you show television shows or movies to the children? How much time do the children spend watching television or movies each day?
  • How many staff members care for each group? How many children are in a group?
  • Are staff registered as early childhood educators with the College of Early Childhood Educators?
  • Can the centre accommodate the special needs of children?
  • Are parents encouraged to drop in?
  • Do you have a waiting list?
  • What is your philosophy or approach to working with children?

After you get the answers to your questions, decide whether or not the licensed child care program meets your needs and whether or not it's a good fit for your family. Then make plans to visit each program you are considering.

Go to the next step: Visit each option

Four steps to find the right child care