To find the best quality child care...
Look... Ask... Listen... and Feel

Look for...

  • A current certificate of registration (Family Child Care Homes) or certificate of compliance (Group Child Care Homes and Day Care Centers)
  • Happy, active children who are allowed to explore and socialize with each other
  • Nurturing caregivers who respond to the infants and children with respect, patience, and flexibility
  • A clean, safe environment set up for the children's needs

Ask about...

  • Training sessions the provider has attended, his/her background and experience with children
  • The daily program (including routines, and meals), discipline techniques and policies
  • The staff/child ratio - are there enough adults to respond to individual children?
  • Surprise, unannounced visits - they should be encouraged by the caregiver
  • Opportunities for parent involvement
  • References (be sure to follow through and check them)
  • Accreditation - is the program nationally accredited or working towards accreditation?

Listen for...

  • The director/caregiver's tone of voice - is it cheerful and patient?
  • Is he/she willing to answer questions?
  • Happy, involved childern and caregivers
  • Your "inner voice"


  • The tension or calm in the air
  • How the caregiver responds to your child
  • How the facility makes you feel


Child Care Consultants Child Care Checklist...

We suggest you print a copy of this list and take it with you while visiting prospective child care facilities.

  1. Frequent, warm interaction among children and caregivers
  2. Specially trained caregivers sensitive to individual child and family needs
  3. Balanced daily program with time for play, learning, rest and meals
  4. Enough adults to respond to individual children (meets/exceeds PA regulations)
  5. Safe, clean, pleasant environment with areas for rest, quiet play and active play
  6. A learning environment encouraging creativity, problem solving and social skills
  7. Equipment, toys and materials appropriate to each child's age and abilities
  8. Nutritious and appealing meals and snacks
  9. Open communication with parents - visits and questions are encouraged
  10. Secure, stable environment with low staff turnover
  11. Participation in Quality Improvement programs such as Keystone STARS or national accreditation

An Important Note About Your Responsibility

Selecting and monitoring a child care provider is the right and responsibility of the parent or guardian. Providers listed with Child Care Consultants, Inc. are regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Providers have not been screened, evaluated, or recommended by Child Care Consultants. Child Care Consultants neither guarantees nor endorses the providers.


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