January 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: Checklist January 1998 Current Issue
January 1998 ChecklistPLANNER'S PORTFOLIO

Checklist

BY CHERYL-ANNE STURKEN

Choosing Child Care

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

SELECTING A CHILD-CARE COMPANY

  • How long has the company been in business?
  • 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 their largest group?
  • How are staff personnel selected? Are criminaland 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.
  • 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 whom are ill or have a contagious disease 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 identifying who will pick up the child and identification cards for parent/adult responsible for picking up child. Other measures include photo ID of child and responsible parent/adult, or matching wrist bracelets for child and parent/adult.
  • Ask for client references and check them.
  • EVALUATING THE PROGRAM

  • What is the staff-to-child ratio? Requirements vary by state. The following ratio is ideal: 0-1.5 years, one adult for every two children
    2-4 years, one adult for every four children
    5-7 years, one adult for every five children
    8-11 years, one adult for every seven children
    12-18 years, one adult for every 10 children
  • What daily activities are planned for each age category? Ask to see a sample of daily itineraries.
  • Are planned activities educational, creative and age-appropriate?
  • Are board games provided for older kids?
  • Are art projects that allow for individual expres-sion and creativity included?
  • Are a variety of learning and play areas available: blocks, housekeeping, science, dress-up, etc.?
  • Is there a structured quiet time for younger age groups?
  • Will the younger children be read to?
  • In good weather, how much outdoor time will 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 dis-cuss transportation.
  • Are water activities included? If yes, ask about parent permission, lifeguards and staff/child ratio.
  • What is done with infants, beyond changing and feeding? Do staffers play with babies using appro-priate stimuli (music, soft blocks, infant-safe toys)?
  • Are daily individual infant records kept of chang-ing, feeding, napping and play time?
  • What types of meals are provided? Are they nutritious? Ask to see a sample menu.
  • Are provisions made for children with dietary restrictions?
  • SITE INSPECTING THE FACILITY

  • 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 there child-size rest room facilities?
  • Are room thermostats adjustable?
  • Is there adequate lighting? Natural light?
  • Do doors and access areas meet Americans With Disabilities Act requirements?
  • Are child-size chairs and tables available?
  • Are all cribs child-safe?
  • Are unused electrical outlets taped over or sealed with child-safe devices?
  • Are fire exits clearly marked? Is there a policy in place for emergency evacuation?
  • Is all play equipment (including outdoor) safe and in good condition?
  • Notes:



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