Site Visit Checklist
Below is a list of things to look for when visiting potential child care providers.
- provider is warm and friendly with the children
- provider and children are happy and actively involved in a variety of age appropriate activities
- provider speaks to individual children frequently and at their level
- provider handles discipline in a calm manner with an emphasis on helping children resolve conflicts
- provider interacts with children through conversation and play, rather than just supervising
- provider allows children to make choices throughout the day
- provider encourages independence
- provider has clear, consistent rules and gives reasons for them
- provider helps children use words to solve problems
- provider teaches children to respect differences in others
- ample indoor and outdoor space is clean and suitable for children including those with special needs
- safety is addressed through working smoke alarms, posted exit signs, covered electrical outlets, etc
- if the program is licensed, ask to see the most current licensing inspection report
- adequate lighting is present and child sized furniture is available
- age-appropriate toys are visible, easily accessible and stored in an organized manner
- children’s projects are displayed at children’s eye level
- activities are encouraged that focus on all areas of development
- fine motor skills (i.e. stringing beads to develop hand muscles)
- gross motor skills (i.e. dancing, skipping and jumping)
- social/emotional skills (i.e. reading books that discuss feelings)
- cognitive skills (i.e. putting together puzzles)
- noise level is comfortable for children
- diapering/toileting areas are sanitary; toys and play areas are sanitized daily
- posted schedules are flexible and designed to meet the needs of individual children
- enough providers are present for the group’s size and age
Materials and Supplies:
- there are a variety of materials for the number of children in the program
- age-appropriate toys are reflective of many cultures, ethnicities, genders
- materials encourage children to learn new skills and are in good repair
- books and other reading readiness materials are available and used daily
- policies exist and are shared with parents regarding fees, payment, vacation time, sick children, etc.
- program provides references of current/past parents
- program follows an educational curriculum
- care is consistent, with little turnover in staff
- parents are well informed about their child’s day through daily conversations or notes
- parents’ input is valued and there are opportunities for meaningful involvement in the program
- parents are allowed access to the program at all times and encouraged to visit
- parents are greeted in a warm and friendly way
While visiting the program, talk to other parents that you see and ask them about their experiences with the program. A next step can be to check the references of current/past parents who used the program. Some questions to ask include:
- What did you like best/least about the child care provider?
- Did the provider offer activities geared towards the child’s age?
- Did the provider make you and your child feel comfortable in the program? How?
- Did the provider keep you well informed about your child’s development? How?
- Was the provider dependable and reliable?
- If you could change anything about the program what would it be?
For more information on what to look for when visiting child care providers, please call
2-1-1 Child Care at 2-1-1 or 1-800-505-1000.