As I continue my hunt for care, I came up with a list of questions to ask when I go on tours.
*The most important part of a child’s care is nurturing their soul. This is best when care providers assist spiritual development. Some facilities provide this, but it is not common place anymore. When a facility can not be found that will help nourish this aspect of a child’s education/development, it must be done at home. Barring this availability, I found that the checklist below is a good outline when interviewing potential babysitters/daycare centers. (Since ultimate education, spiritual development, and character shaping is the responsibility of a guardian anyways.)
- How much outdoor time do kids get a day? Are they allowed to play in snow/rain?
- Are meals included? What types of meals are given?
- Are cloth diapers permitted to help alleviate diaper costs for families?
- Is technology/screen time limited to less than 2 hours a day?
- What educational model/theories do you ascribe to?
- Are there field trips?
- Are contracted days required for payment for sick, vacation, or holiday time?
- How sterile do you keep your environment? (Too sterile?)
- How much is tuition? (Paid weekly/bi-weekly)
- Are there discounts: sibling, military, financial relief?
- How are teachers screened?
- How do you ensure kids are not being abused (spanked without necessity (i.e. dangerous situation)…used to discipline when kids hit other kids, etc.)
- How do you discipline/correct a child?
- Are kids forced to sit and learn if they aren’t feeling like participating or will alternate activities be available?
- What certifications/credentials/etc. are required by your staff? How well are your providers screened?
- Are kids forced to a schedule or do you operate on as-needed basis (i.e. diapers every two hours, but if peed 10 min. after a diaper change, they will be changed again)? e. feed when hungry rather than force to eat at set times? Sleep when fatigued or sleep train?
- Are kids taught practical life skills: food prep, cleaning, hygiene?
- Are you licensed/credentialed?
- Do you have a code for taxes so I can file for deductions?
- Do kids get to interact with the various ages or are they limited to kids only their age?
Best wishes on your search friends. It isn’t an easy task to entrust children with friends or family for extended periods of time due to having to work, but we know, ultimately, God watches over our little ones. We can only have so much control. It is also our responsibility to let our little ones fly, reach their potential, and be disciples themselves, rather than always being sheltered and relying on guardian opinions and faith.