Assessing your childcare

Even if your child has been in childcare for a while, it’s good to take time to evaluate the care your child is receiving once in a while to make sure it is the quality your child deserves.

Here are some ways you can do this:

• Drop in for a visit at different times of day, but expect the caregiver to continue giving her full attention to the children.

• Look for the daily schedule to see if there are both active and quiet activities each day.

• Are the scheduled activities right for the age and abilities of your child?

• Are the children actively involved and not watching television or movies?

• The daily schedule should include outdoor time. Children benefit from time outdoors and when dressed appropriately should go out, except in extreme weather.

• Does the caregiver get down to the children’s level and talk directly with them?

• Do you hear laughter and see the children having fun?

• Is there lots of hands-on play and chances to explore things?

• Are you given a Child Service Report every six months that describes your child’s growth and development? This is a new state requirement for Pennsylvania and parents must sign a copy when they are given one.

The Penn State University Cooperative Extension Better Kid Care Program has info on children’s issues for early childhood educators, child care providers and parents on the Better Kid Care web site at: