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How to choose a daycare

When choosing a daycare, it is important to pay special attention to what is happening at the daycare during your visit. These criteria will help you determine which daycare center is right for you.

1.    STAFF

  • How do they treat the children?
  • Are they patient with the kids?
  • Are there enough staff members on duty to support the developmental and emotional needs of the children?
  • Do they discuss your child with you?
  • What experience and training do they have in working with children?
  • And last but not least – do they get down to the height of your child to greet him/her? – It is after all your child that’s the client, not you!


  • Are the indoor and outdoor areas and equipment safe and sturdy?  
  • Do they have soft sand under the jungle gym, in case of a fall?
  • Does it have orderly, clean work areas?
  • Are the rooms airy, well-lit and attractive with bright colours?
  • Does it have sanitary bathrooms and diaper-changing areas?


  • Are the room temperatures comfortable?
  • Are the furniture safe and child friendly, e.g. rounded table corners?
  • Are the play material non-toxic and toys generally in a good condition with no small parts lying around?
  • Is a first-aid kit visible?
  • Do they offer healthy snacks and/or meals?
  • What is the process for dropping off and picking up your child?
  • Is the kitchen area clean?
  • Is hand washing practiced?
  • Are there separate cribs for infants and separate cots/mats for others?
  • Are cleaning materials and medicines kept safely out of reach of children?


  • Is there a proper child-staff ratio?
  • Do they allow and encourage creative play?
  • Are there plenty of play and educational materials?
  • Is there an organized schedule or program?
  • Do they allow enough free play?
  • Is there supervised rest time?
  • Is TV time kept to a minimum and supervised?
  • Do they read stories to the kids?
  • Are any special programs or enrichment opportunities available, e.g. Monkeynastix?  
  • Are there field trips or do kids remain in the center at all times (some centers take kids on trips and others' don't and parents seem mixed on their preference)?


  • Are the rules clearly explained to the kids?
  • How is good behaviour encouraged and appropriate discipline practised?
  • Ask other parents if there is anything that is bothering them.
  • Are children allowed to get dirty naturally through play?
  • Are any children left out?
  • Do you see laughing, caring, sharing, and generally happy children?
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