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Group Child Care Center Policies - What to Ask About

If you are considering a group child care arrangement, ask for a complete written list of policies. Ask questions if you don't find all of your answers in the documents. Learn the basic facts about the center as well as details about safety, rules, activities, and what's expected of the parents.

General operations

  • Payment, including amount, due date, and reasons why extra fees might be charged
  • Hours of operation and holiday closures
  • Security procedures, such as sign in/sign out of children
  • When a child must be kept home or sent home
  • Notice requirements for ending arrangement

Emergency procedures

  • Fire
  • Medical emergency
  • Bad weather
  • Severe contagious illness (such as meningitis)
  • Staff training: First aid and CPR

Food preparation

  • Is any food prepared on-site? If so, in what area?
  • Are meals and snacks nutritious?
  • Are there restrictions on what food can be brought in?

Hygiene practices

  • Hand-washing
  • Diapering
  • How often are toilets, sinks, and countertops disinfected?
  • How often are floors and carpets cleaned?
  • How often are toys disinfected?

Rules for children

  • Are there behavior policies and rules in place? If so, what are they?
  • How are children disciplined? How is physical aggression handled?
  • Are toys from home allowed?

Other information

  • Record-keeping: Are the children's records kept in a private but easy-to-access place?
  • Parent involvement and expectations: Are parents invited to be on committees or on the governing body of the child care center?

For examples of questions to ask, see:

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 9/, 013
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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