Child Care Checklist

Quality Child Care Checklist

Place a check in the box if the program meets your expectations.
Fill in the name of each program below and use the corresponding
column of check boxes to help you remember each visit.

Option 1:_________________________________________

Option 2:_________________________________________

Option 3:_________________________________________

Child Care Program options

Unless otherwise noted, the Checklist items apply to any child care setting.


Will my child be supervised?


Are children watched at all times, including when they are sleeping?


Are adults warm and welcoming?


Do they pay individual attention to each child?


Are clear and simple safety rules established with the children?


Do adults focus on the positive and redirect behavior rather than yelling, spanking, or using other negative punishments?


Are there enough staff-members to supervise all children (see the recommended guidelines for adult-to-child ratios)?


Have the adults been trained to care for children?

For a child care center (a program offering care in a community
center, place of worship or other facilities):

      Are you planning on participating in the Parent Aware Star Rating?

Does the director have a degree and some experience in caring for children?


Do the teachers have a credential or an early childhood-related degree and experience in caring for children?


Are all adults continuing to receive early childhood-related training or education?

For family child care (care offered in the caregiver's home):


Has the provider had specific training on children’s development and experience caring for children?


Is the provider continuing to receive early childhood-related training or education?

For child care center AND family child care home:


Is there always someone present who has current CPR and first aid training?


Is there always someone present who has current SIDS and Shaken Baby Syndrome training?


Have the adults received training specific to my child’s age and needs?


Are the adults willing to seek out such training?


Have the adults been trained on child abuse prevention?


Are the adults willing to seek out such training?


Will my child be able to grow and learn?


Are there specific areas for different kinds of play (blocks, puzzles, art, dress-up etc.)?


Is the play space organized and are toys and materials easy to reach and use?


Are toys age-appropriate?


Are some toys and materials available at all times and are some rotated?


Are there daily or weekly activity plans available?
Have the adults planned experiences for my child to enjoy?


Will my child be engaged in conversations with adults throughout the day which are appropriate to his/her age?


Will my child be asked questions, when appropriate, and encouraged to speak and communicate?


Will my child be read to at least twice a day and encouraged to read or explore books on his or her own?

Health and Safety

Is this a safe and healthy place for my child?


Do adults and children wash their hands (after using the bathroom, changing diapers, eating etc.)?


Are diaper changing surfaces cleaned and disinfected after each use?


Do all of the children enrolled have the required immunizations?


Are medicines labeled and out of children’s reach?


Is there a system in place to ensure children are given the correct medication?


Are cleaning supplies and other poisonous materials locked up, out of children’s reach?


Is there a plan to follow if a child is injured, sick or lost?


Are first aid kits readily available?


Is there a plan for responding to disasters (fire, flood etc.)?


Is the outdoor play area a safe place for children to play?


Is the equipment the right size and type for the age of the children who use it?


In center-based programs, is the playground area surrounded by a fence at least four feet tall?


Is the equipment placed on mulch, sand or rubber matting?


Is the equipment in good condition?


Is the number of children in each group limited?
Smaller group size has been shown to be an important indicator of quality.


Is the program well-managed?


Is the program’s license in good standing with the state or local agencies who oversee licenses?


Are parents and/or staff asked to evaluate the program?


How many training hours do the program staff take each year? Receiving ongoing training has been found to be an important step in providing
excellent care.


Is the program accredited by a national organization? Accreditation means that this child care/early education program has been recognized by a leading national organization as a provider of excellent care.


Does the program work closely with parents?


Will I be welcome any time my child is in care?


Is parents’ feedback sought and used in making program improvements?


Will I be given a copy of the program’s policies?


Will I be given a contract signed by the caregiver?


Are annual conferences held with parents?