Choosing safe and affordable childcare sets the stage for healthy growth and development in a child. Only parents know the best situation for their children. Asking the right questions, observing the caregivers in action, and checking references are only some of the steps to choosing care that is appropriate for the child. Whatever the setting, the key element is high quality care. The program should offer knowledgeable loving caregivers who understand and care about children, and who work with parents to offer the best possible care for each child.
Learn about different childcare options and visit sites before making a decision. Watch the interaction of caregivers to each other and the children in care.
Listed below are some things to think about and questions to ask:
    •    What is the fee for care? Are meals and snacks included are there late fees? When is payment due? Are subsidy payments accepted?
    •    Is the location of care near home, school, or work? Does the caregiver offer transportation? What are the hours of operation?
    •    Is the program licensed or registered in the state? What is the history of the caregiver? What experience does the caregiver have in caring for children?
    •    Have you received references about the program?
    •    How many children is the caregiver is watching? Are the children watched at all times including naptime?
    •    Is the location child-proofed and are dangerous materials stored locked and out of reach of children?
    •    Is there a fire or medical emergency plan in place?
    •    Is the setting clean? Are toys, furniture and floors washed frequently with a bleach solution? Do the caregivers wash hands before handling food? Are the children encouraged to wash their hands?
    •    Does the caregiver provide healthy meals and snacks?
    •    Does the staff read stories, sing songs and interact with the children? Are there books and puzzles to help children learn new words? Are there supplies for creative child driven activities?
Call, visit options, ask questions, and make a decision. (For a full check list of questions to ask and things to consider, see the resources below).

For more information or help, call:
Child Care Council, Inc
654-4720 or 1-800-743-KIDS

Genesee Valley, online provider guide and checklist

NYS Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS)

NYS Parent’s Connection


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