A Labor of Love - Kingwood

Published: Jun 13, 2012, 1:00pm

There is no doubt about it. We all want what is best for our children. I remember what an awesome task it was to find quality daycare and considered myself very lucky to have had a mother’s day out and pre-school program available at church. Whether you are returning to work, needing child care for the summer or just leave your child on occasion, decisions should always be based on the physical, emotional and intellectual safety and well being of your child or children.

Below is a quick and easy checklist of questions that should be asked when considering a daycare facility? Please note that they are not in any type of priority order.


  1. What is the child/caregiver ratio? How many children is one caregiver in charge of?
  2. Are play areas (inside and out) safe and well supervised?
  3. Is the daycare center “child-proofed?” i.e., electrical sockets covered, cleaning supplies locked in a cabinet, etc?
  4. Does the caregiver wash their hands often, especially after changing diapers or wiping noses?
  5. Are toys and equipment sanitized on a regular basis? Is the equipment safe and sturdy?
  6. What are the director’s views on discipline? Do they use timeout or does the caregiver spank?
  7. What type of lunch and snacks are served? Obtain a menu if possible.
  8. What security measures are taken to keep the children safe? Does the center fingerprint?
  9. Is the child forced to take a nap? What happens if your child does not take a one?
  10. Does at least one staff member know CPR?
  11. Are the children taught what to do in the case of a fire? Are there smoke detectors, fire drills and extinguishers and enough doors for the children to exit safely?
  12. What is the policy on sick children?
  13. Is there enough room for children to enjoy themselves and not feel crowded?


  1. How long does it take the caregiver to approach the child when it is crying?
  2. Does the caregiver respond to the child’s needs in a warm and affectionate manner?
  3. How is the child treated when they are ill or sleepy?
  4. Does the facility have a routine that will help the child feel safe and secure?
  5. Does the caregiver threaten or scream at the children?


a.        Does the facility follow a particular curriculum? If so, which one?

b.        Do the caregivers read, sing or talk with the children? Do they talk with them and not at them?

c.         Do they teach colors, numbers or other skills?

d.        Does the facility provide educational equipment, toys and activities to meet a child’s needs at different age levels?  


  1. What are the caregiver’s qualifications and credentials? Have they had any formal training in childcare?
  2. Does the daycare facility to background checks?
  3. Is an after-school program available?
  4. Is there a break in the cost for more than one child?
  5. Is there a summer program?
  6. What is the policy on late pick-ups?
  7. Do they take field trips?
  8. What about holiday schedules?


  1. Before deciding, make several surprise visits to the center to observe how the children or being cared for.
  2. Talk to other parents about how their child adapted to the person that was in charge of their care. Do their children enjoy staying at the center?
  3. It is perfectly normal for a child to cry when parents leave. Rest assured, the child usually settles down in the matter of minutes.
  4. It is also perfectly normal for you to work and develop other interests. Don’t let the “guilt bug” run your life or should I say ruin your life.
  5. Have fun! Enjoy time away from your children. Fun is an important part of your parental mental health.
  6. Check for BIG smiles at the end of the day.

For more Child Care information, be sure and visit our Family Life & Parenting section in the Business Directory at Kingwood.com, Atascocita.com and TheWoodlandsTX.com.

Selecting quality childcare is definitely a labor of love. But aren’t your children worth it? One last thing, enjoy every moment the daycare years pass very quickly. Before you know it the children will be out of daycare and into dating and driving, and that’s another whole story!

Until next month, happy parenting!

Debbie Dodd is the Senior Sales & Marketing Director for the Kosmin Media Group and also a freelance writer. She is the mother of three and a grandmother. She resides in Kingwood with her husband, Ronnie. She can be reached at Debbie@kingwood.com.









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