20 Questions To Ask Daycare Provider For Newborns

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questions to ask daycare

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Sending your little one to daycare is one of the biggest and most difficult decisions for most couples to make. However, sending your baby to daycare may also be the only option for most working parents in a practical world. If you are planning to send your child to a daycare, might as well do it the right way? This blog is all about the questions you need to ask on your daycare tour.

Questions to Ask Daycare: Top 20 Parents’ Queries

As a parent surveying multiple daycare centers to choose that one safe and best creche to send your baby to, you need to first understand that all babies have varied needs and so, though not all centers will be able to provide what you want, you can always keep an open mind and speak to the provider about your needs. It should also be understood for a fact that what’s ‘obvious‘ to you may not be obvious to the daycare center and so, ask as many questions as you may want to without thinking twice. Some daycare centers may even answer all your questions through a formally documented policy, but again, if there’s something you missed out on, there’s no reason for you to not put forward your concerns.

Here are The Top 20+ Daycare Questions to Ask!

1. Question to Ask a Daycare: General Childcare

As a parent, you will be wondering how daycare can cater to your child’s needs specifically but even more important than that is how they deal with your child in general (adhering to child psychology, general hygiene, general development activities, etc.) so that they don’t feel as comfortable as in their homes. So here are 11 general daycare questions to ask:

  • What is the center’s philosophy on and about childcare?
  • What is the caregiver-to-child ratio?
  • How many kids are attending the daycare at present?
  • How many childcare providers does the center have?
  • What is a typical meal served to kids?
  • Are parents allowed to send homemade food for the kids?
  • How does the center handle breastmilk that is pumped, frozen, or milk formula bottles?
  • What is their awareness level on how to handle child allergies?
  • What activities will your toddler get to engage in?
  • What does a typical day at the childcare center look like?
  • How does the center take care of the child’s behavioral or discipline problems? For example, if your kid happens to pick a fight with another kid, how will the provider deal with it?

2. Questions to Ask a Daycare: Family-related Questions

You may be a family that believes in using cloth diapers as against disposable diapers. You could also be a family that believes in having your child put to sleep at one particular time every day. Do not be afraid to ask family-specific peculiar questions to understand how they would deal with your custom requirements.

3. Questions to Ask a Daycare: Daycare Policies

Policies followed by the daycare you choose are as crucial as the general care provided to the child. Their policies show how much your child is safe in their hands and how much your child will benefit from attending their daycare. Here’s what you need to ask:

  • Explore the general visitational daycare policies and make sure to ask if you are allowed to drop in at the daycare in the middle of the day or can parents visit only at particular times?
  • Who all (except parents) can visit the kid at the daycare?
  • Can guardians drop by whenever they’d like or swing by to breastfeed? What are your visitation policies in general? Who else is allowed to visit during care?
  • What is the policy if a parent is late to pick up the child from the center?
  • Can a kid be picked up from home on rare days like that of a parent being sick?
  • What is the center’s sick-child policy?
  • What are the center’s policies regarding immunizations?
  • Does the provider follow a potty training schedule or procedure? At what age?
  • If the center transports kids in a vehicle and does not require parents to visit for pick up and drop, make sure that you inspect the setting arrangements in the said vehicle.
  • What is the toy sanitizing procedure? How often are the toys and other baby care materials cleaned?
  • Are there any discounts like a second sibling discount?

4. Question to Ask Daycare: Employee-related Questions

The background of the employees of daycare is equally important to verify and be concerned about as they are the ones closely dealing with your child for long hours. Here are 6 employee-related daycare questions  you can ask:

  • What degrees or certifications does the staff have?
  • How experienced is the staff in taking care of kids?
  • Are the backgrounds of all employees screened?
  • Is there any professional teacher employed to take care of a kid’s developmental needs?
  • How long has the current set of employees been serving in the center?
  • Does the center have a nurse or a doctor to take care of medicinal emergencies?

5. Questions to Ask a Daycare: Communication

Your child interacts with the employees of the daycare and other kids on a day-to-day basis so you need to make sure there are appropriate modes of communication between them. Plus, an ideal daycare needs to be in touch with parents or guardians so they can keep up-to-date with the child’s activities. Here are some of such daycare questions to ask:

  • What is the preferred mode of communication of the center?
  • How does the center communicate child reports?
  • Is there a weekly /daily catch-up system in place?
  • Are there any references they’d like to provide for vetting?

6. Question to Ask a Daycare: Child Activities

The activities that your child engages in decide his/her development. An ideal daycare will have all the activities that will help kids grow according to child experts and psychologists. Here are some of the activity-related daycare questions you could ask:

  • What activities will the child potentially be engaging in every day?
  • Is there a curriculum in place?
  • How often will the kids get to go outside and play in the open?

7. Safety

  • Is the center licensed and accredited? If yes, by whom?
  • Is there a webcam system in place?
  • If the answer to the previous question is yes, are parents allowed to access the webcam footage
  • What are the center’s disaster recovery and management policies?

Final Thoughts

Finding the right daycare for your baby can be a rather challenging task but while you’re at it, make sure that you are patient through the process and do not give up if you don’t find the right daycare at once – because you most probably will not! It will take a couple of visits to a couple of places and that’s not only okay but also important since it is your kid’s future we are talking about. Daycares can heavily influence the growth of a kid as your kid would be potentially spending a lot of time at the said center.

Now that you have a list of all questions to ask at your tour, there’s still a little something to ask yourself before sending your kid to a particular daycare: what does your gut say about the center? Do the people at the daycare seem warm and caring enough to be able to nurture your baby? don’t go just by what you see and hear, use your parental instincts to make the decision for your baby.

Questions to ask daycare FAQs

1) What is the best age to start daycare ?

Typically, experts recommend that the best age for a child to start daycare is at least 12-months-old and not at a younger age than that. It should also be noted that babies or kids under a year old may experience high-stress levels when left alone at daycare and hence it is recommended against it.

2) How many hours should a kid stay at a daycare ?

It is ideally recommended to leave a child at the daycare only when absolutely necessary as kids cannot benefit from the love at the daycare as much as they can benefit from the love of their own house. As a rule of thumb, keep your kid's time at the daycare limited and not more than a 5-6 hour mark.

3) Is it bad to put a kid in daycare ?

There is no right or wrong when it comes to sending a child to a daycare and let that not guilt you into believe you're bad at parenting. At times it may be difficult for working couples to take care of the baby along with work and so, a daycare only comes as a practical solution. Usually, most daycares take care of kids in a professional manner and it also in fact means more social interaction for your child. Just make sure to ask enough questions on your daycare tour to get a fair idea of the place your baby will be spending most of their days at.
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