Choosing Child Care 1-1-1998

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



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


  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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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