Questions to Ask
- Have there been any licensing violations found in the last few years? If so, of what nature were the violations? Have they been corrected?
- Are meals provided? Ask for a sample menu.
- What are the fees? How often do the fees change? Is there a deposit required? Do you pay for sick days, vacations or national holidays? Is there a late pick-up fee?
- Is there opportunity for parent involvement? In what way?
- How is information concerning the child exchanged between staff and parents?
- What is the Director's background and how long has he/she been Director?
- How many staff members are present in each class? How many children are there in each class?
- What kind of training do the teachers have? Is additional training required?
- How much staff turnover has there been over the past year?
- How do they handle behavior problems? What method of discipline is used with children that misbehave?
- Are the children required to wash their hands before snack and lunch?
- Are parents allowed to visit their children at any time?
- Ask for parent references. Is there anything you would change about the program?
Family Based Child Care
- How many children does the provider care for each day? Is the group stable or are there different children each day?
- How much does the provider charge? Will you be expected to pay for sick days, vacations, holidays or late pick-up?
- Are meals provided? Is the provider participating in the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)?
- Does the provider take a vacation or take off certain holidays?
- How long has the provider been doing family day care? How long do they expect to continue?
- Will the provider give you the names and telephone numbers of parents who have used his/her care in the past or are now using it?
- Does the provider ever leave the children in someone else's care? If so, ask about these other persons.
- What other adults are likely to be at home during day care hours?
- What is the provider's previous job experience and educational background?
- Does the provider take the children on field trips or otherwise transport them in the car?
- Does the provider participate in on-going trainings?
- What is a typical day like in the provider's day care program?
- How does the provider handle a child's misbehavior? How does the provider handle a child who is upset?
If you are interviewing someone to come into your home to take care of your child, your questions will be slightly different. Of all forms of care, in-home care comes under the least scrutiny, so you will want to be very thorough. You are assuming the role of employer and must verify for yourself those things that an administrator of a center asks prospective employees.
In New York State, when interviewing an in-home child care provider, it is not legal to ask questions concerning race, color, national origin or mairtal status. You may obtain NYS criminal history record, credit history report, education and NYS driving records. Click here for information about Kieran's Law.
If in visiting providers or in utilizing their services, you have concerns about the conditions or the quality of care, do not hesitate to bring this to the attention of the Child Care Council at (845) 473-4141 and/or the New York State Office of Children and Family Services at (845) 708-2400.
If you are dissatisfied with the services you have received from the Child Care Council, please call the Executive Director at (845) 473-4141 x213 to express your concern.