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Ask these questions on your visit to the program:
* What qualifications do the staff and director have? What on-going training are staff required to attend, and are staff encouraged to attend trainings offered by professionals in the field of school-age care? Are staff specifically trained to work with this age group?
* How does the program’s environment look? Are there separate areas for different age or interest groups? Are there areas for kids to have some private space? Is it generally clean and orderly? Are you inclined to stay??
* What types of activities are planned for the kids? Is there good balance between indoor/outdoor, large group/small group, active/quiet, and staff-directed/child-directed activities? Is there time for kids to just “hang” out? Are activities planned to meet the development needs of all children in the program? Will the program meet the needs and interests of your particular child?
* What are the program philosophies and goals? Do these match your ideas? Ask to have a copy of the program’s handbook to check out all the important information on billing, payments, pick-up, safety, etc.
* What is the staff-to-child ratio? The ratio should never exceed 15-to-1. Lower ratios (10-to-1) promote higher quality standards.
* What is the rate of staff turnover? Continual changes in staff can create program instability.
* What meals or snacks are served? Are they nutritious and well balanced? Is there enough food served to meet the needs of this age group?
Do they have a state-issued
* Will the director give you names of parents in the program to call and ask questions? Do they allow open visits by parents?
* What is the program’s discipline policy? Does this fit into your ideas and beliefs? If your child has special needs in this area, will they be met by the program?
* What is your child’s first impression of the program--your first impression? Is the overall atmosphere and sound of the kids and staff a happy and inviting sound? Are they having fun??
* What are transportation policies? What vehicles do they use?
* What community resources does the program utilize? Quality programs get out in their community and regularly invite featured speakers to visit.
* What are the policies on TV viewing? Quality programs use the TV for special occasions only!
by School’s Out
CCR suggests you check the complaint history of the licensed child care programs by contacting WA State Department of Early Learning toll-free at (866) 482-4325 or visit them online at https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/f2ws03esaapps/lccis/lccis.aspx. You will need the Center or Provider’s 10 digit phone number or their program name to access their record.
City of Seattle – Child Care Program
Washington State Child Care Resource and Referral Network
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association for Family Child Care
Child Care Resources
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