FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1) Call first and ask:
- Is there an opening for my child?
- What hours and days are you open and where are you located?
- How much does care cost? Is financial assistance available?
- How many children are in your care? What age groups do you serve?
- Do you provide transportation?
- Do you provide meals? (breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks)?
- Do caregivers have special qualifications or training?
- When can I come to visit?
2) Next, visit more than one provider and take the time to look for:
- Responsive, nurturing, warm interactions between caregiver and children.
- Children who are happily involved in daily activities and comfortable with their caregiver.
- A clean, safe, and healthy indoor and outdoor environment, especially napping, eating and toileting areas.
- A variety of toys and learning materials, such as books, puzzles, blocks, or climbing equipment, that your child will find interesting and that will help their growth and development.
- Children getting individual attention.
3) And ask:
- Can I visit at any time?
- How do you handle discipline?
- What do you do if a child is sick?
- What would you do in case of an emergency?
- Are all children and staff required to be immunized?
- Do you have a substitute or back-up caregiver?
- Where do children nap? Do you know that babies should go to sleep on their backs?
- What training have you (and other staff and substitutes) had?
- May I see a copy of your CCD certification or registration?
- May I have a list of parents who have used your care now and in the past?
1) Ask other parents:
- Was the caregiver reliable every day?
- How did the caregiver discipline your child?
- Did your child enjoy the child care?
- How did the caregiver respond to you as a parent?
- Was the caregiver respectful of your values and culture?
- Would you recommend the caregiver without reservation?
- If your child is no longer with the caregiver, why did you leave?
2) Ask the local CCR&R or the state Child Care Division
- What regulations should the child care provider meet?
- Are there complaints about the child care provider I am considering and how do I find out about them?
Make the Decision for Quality Care
From what you heard and saw, ask yourself:
- Which child care should I choose so my child will be happy and grow?
- Which caregiver can meet the special needs of my child?
- Are the caregiver’s values similar to my family’s values?
- Is the care available and affordable, and meets my family’s needs and resources?
- Do I feel good about my decision?
Ask yourself how can I arrange my schedule so I can:
- Talk to my caregiver every day?
- Talk to my child every day about how the day went?
- Visit and observe my child in care at different times of the day?
- Be involved in my child’s activities?
- How can I work with my caregiver to resolve issues and concerns that arise?
- How do I stay informed about my child’s growth and development while in care?
- How can I promote good working conditions for my child care provider?
- How can I network with other parents?
After You’ve Found Child Care
It is important to set up a good relationship with the provider. This depends a lot on good communication:
- Let your provider know what kind of care you expect for your child. It’s a good idea to drop in unexpectedly every so often to be sure you’re happy with the care your children are getting.
- Discuss your work schedule so the provider knows when your child will be there.
- Ask the provider when you need to pay your co-pay or other charges.
- Tell a caregiver in advance when you plan to change providers.
Information from Oregon Department of Human Resources. More information can be obtained at http://egov.oregon.gov/DHS/children/.
Do You Have Any Question?
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