The following points are good ways to measure the quality of a child care home or center.

Caregivers/Teachers

  • Do the caregivers/teachers seem to really like children?
  • Do the caregivers/teachers get down on each child's level to speak with the child?
  • Are children greeted when they arrive?
  • Are children's needs quickly met even when things get busy?
  • Are the caregivers/teachers trained in CPR, first aid, and early childhood education?
  • Are the caregivers/teachers involved in continuing education programs?
  • Does the program keep up with children's changing interests?
  • Will the caregivers/teachers always be ready to answer your questions?
  • Will the caregivers/teachers tell you what your child is doing every day?
  • Are parents' ideas welcomed? Are there ways for you to get involved?
  • Do the caregivers/teachers and children enjoy being together?
  • Is there enough staff to serve the children? (Ask local experts about the best staff/child ratios for different age groups.)
  • Are caregivers/teachers trained and experienced?
  • Have they participated in early childhood development classes?

Setting

  • Is the atmosphere bright and pleasant?
  • Is there a fenced-in outdoor play area with a variety of safe equipment? Can the caregivers/teachers see the entire playground at all times?
  • Are there different areas for resting, quiet play and active play? Is there enough space for the children in all of these areas?

Activities

  • Is there a daily balance of play time, story time, activity time and nap time?
  • Are the activities right for each age group?
  • Are there enough toys and learning materials for the number of children?
  • Are toys clean, safe and within reach of the children?

In General

  • Do you agree with the discipline practices?
  • Do you hear the sounds of happy children?
  • Are children comforted when needed?
  • Is the program licensed or regulated?
  • Are surprise visits by parents encouraged?
  • Will your child be happy there?