What to Consider When Reviewing

When thinking about a child day care facility there are five important areas to consider. These areas are: Environments, Teaching Staff, Curriculum, Ratios, and Health and Safety . Each of these areas can be broken down even further into more specific questions that should be considered when reviewing a nursery school or day care for this site. This will help guide other parents in this difficult decision making process.

Environments: What does the school look like? Is it a house, in a church, part of a separate building? What are the classrooms like? Are there classrooms? What do the toys look like? Are they new in good condition? What is the furniture like? Are their bathrooms for the children? Is their a changing area? Is their a play area? Does the play area provided have toys for the children? Are all toys age appropriate? Is their a television? Where do the children eat? Is their a place to store your child?s things? Is there a kitchen to heat up food and is food provided?

Teaching Staff: Are the teachers certified? How many teachers are trained in CPR, First Aid, and OSHA (occupational safety hazards)? What are the teacher child interactions like? Do they speak to the children at their level? Do they speak in low tones? Are they playing with the children or focused on other things? How do they handle difficult children? What is the teacher?s discipline policy? What How do they handle separation anxiety? How does the teacher interact with crying children? How does the teacher handle the large group? How often are teachers evaluated by administration? How often do teacher update parents?

What is my child learning while he is at school? What activities is he participating in? How much am I involved in the learning process? Does the school?s curriculum match what is important to me for my child to learn? Does the school focus more on academics or milestones? How does the school help deal with the important concept of the socialization of young children? How much of the learning is hands on? How much of the learning is done through field trips and real life experience? Is their technology in the classroom? How is it incorporates successfully into the curriculum. Are other languages taught in the school?

Ratios: What is the amount of children each teacher is expected to teach throughout the day? How often do the children switch teachers? What happens when a teacher calls out sick? Is their age mixing? How often are children in large group activities? What is the cultural and gender mix of the school?

Health and Safety: How often are hands washed? Who supervises child hand washing? Where do children sleep? Where do children eat? How is food labeled and stored? Who serves food and how do they serve it? What is the bathroom policy and who assists in bathroom procedures? What is diapering method and how often are diapers changed? Is school cleanly? Are all pathways and floors kept without clutter? Are messes cleaned up in a timely manner? Where are the fire exits? How often are fire drills held? Where are the schools evacuation sites? How will the school contact me if there is an evacuation? How often is the school inspected by the state? What is the schools sick policy? How does the school handle accidents and emergencies? Is their any safety measure upon entering the school? Are video cameras in place? What is the schools discipline policy? How does the school handle repetitive biters and hitters?