December 01, 1999
Meetings & Conventions: Planner's Portfolio December 1999 Current Issue
December 1999 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO:




The following checklist was compiled with the help of Joyce Patton, president of Kids on the Move, 10076 Point View Dr., Jonesboro, Ga. 30236


  • How long has the company been in business? Ask for client references and check them.
  • What is the company’s philosophy on discipline?
  • Where have they set up programs in the past?
  • Does the firm have experience with meeting groups? What was the size of its largest group?
  • How are employees selected? Are criminal and reference checks conducted? (Background checks should date back at least five years.) Does the company provide in-house child-care training to its personnel? If not, what type of prior child-care experience is required?
  • What type of insurance does the company carry? A reputable company will have a $1 million comprehensive policy. Ask to see a copy of the insurance certificate, and check with the carrier to make sure the policy is current.
  • How are medical emergencies handled?
  • Does the company keep an updated file on each child, listing information pertaining to allergies, medications, dietary restrictions, etc.?
  • Are children who are ill admitted?
  • What is the company’s policy on dispensing medication?
  • Are staffers certified in basic first aid and infant CPR? Is annual certification required?
  • What security measures are in place? At the very least, there should be a sign-in sheet and ID cards for the adults responsible for picking up children. Other measures include photo IDs for the child and the responsible adult, and matching wrist bracelets.

  • What is the staff-to-child ratio? Requirements vary by state. The following ratio is ideal: For children ages 0-1.5, one adult for every two children; ages 2-4, one adult for every four children; ages 5-7, one adult for every five children; ages 8-11, one adult for every seven children; ages 12-18, one adult for every 10 children.
  • What daily activities are planned for each age category? Ask to see a sample of daily itineraries. Are activities educational, creative and age-appropriate?
  • Are a variety of learning and play areas available (blocks, housekeeping, science, dress-up)? Will younger children be read to?
  • Is there a structured quiet time for younger children?
  • How much outdoor time do the children have?
  • Are field trips a part of the program? If yes, ask to see a sample of past field trips. Be sure to discuss transportation.
  • Are water activities included? If yes, ask about parental permission policy, lifeguards and staff-to-child ratio.
  • What is done with infants beyond changing and feeding? Do staffers play with babies using appropriate stimuli (music, soft blocks, infant-safe toys)?
  • Are daily individual infant records kept of changing, feeding, napping and playtime?

  • Is the location convenient to the meeting room?
  • What is the size of the room? A good rule of thumb is 20 square feet per child.
  • Is the atmosphere warm and cheerful?
  • Are rest rooms nearby? Are rest room facilities child-size?
  • Are thermostats adjustable, and is there adequate lighting?
  • Are unused electrical outlets taped over or sealed with child-safety devices? Are all cribs safe?
  • Are fire exits clearly marked? Is there a policy in place for emergency evacuation?
  • Is all outdoor play equipment safe and in good condition?

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