The right questions to ask when visiting a daycare center

The right questions to ask when visiting a daycare center


Choosing the right place or the right person who will take care of your children is crucial to making the transition back to work as smooth as possible. Here is a list of questions and observations to keep in mind during your visits.

Good to know: if you want a place in a childcare center or a subsidized daycare, the waiting time sometimes exceeds a year! So register for 0-5 and start your research as soon as you get pregnant.

questions to ask

Tip: Wait and see if the principal or educator herself answers some of your questions during the visit before asking them.

1. What are the qualifications of the educator who will be responsible for your child? Is she a graduate (first aid course, up-to-date CPR, etc.)?

2. What is the child / educator ratio?

3. If a child has food allergies, what precautions are taken?

4. What are the policies in the event of illness in children (duration of exclusion, etc.)?

5. What are the hygiene measures to limit the spread of germs (washing hands, disinfecting toys, washing sheets, etc.)?

6. What does the menu look like? Is it prepared on site (you might ask for a copy of the menu)?

7. What is the typical schedule for a day (meal times, nap time, time spent outdoors, etc.)?

8. What are the opening hours? And can you drop off and pick up your child at a convenient time during the day?

9. What is the educational program in place?

10. What is the daily rate? Are you paying despite your child’s absence during summer vacation? Are there any fees to pay if you arrive late at night?

11. Is there a motor skills room or a gymnasium (to move the children when it rains or during the winter)?

12. What is the policy in the event of termination of the contract?

Know that a good childcare service will be happy to answer all your questions without making you feel uncomfortable asking them. It will also provide you with an introductory manual or contract describing all the regulations and procedures.

If the daycare is in a family setting, also ask:
  • Is she a smoker?
  • Are there any animals?
  • How many children does she babysit and how old are they?
  • How many years of experience does she have?
  • What outings are planned daily (in his yard or in the park)?
  • When is the daycare closed during the year?
  • What does it provide for your child?
  • What does she do when she gets sick?
12 points to observe
  • The cleanliness of the premises (the state of furniture and equipment).
  • The presence of smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, first aid kits.
  • The size of the premises (depending on the number of children in each of them).
  • The work climate: do the educators seem happy?
  • Interactions between children and educators.
  • Security of the premises (entrance door with controlled access, locks on cabinet doors, surveillance cameras, etc.).
  • The presence of televisions or techno devices in the premises. (Do you see educators with their cellphones in their hands?)
  • The layout of the outdoor courtyard. Is there a shady corner? Is the surface grassed or asphalted (which may increase the risk of injury)? What games are available for children?
  • The layout of the premises (games, crafts on the walls, dining area).
  • Are the stairs secured with safety barriers?
  • Are the electrical outlets protected?
  • How does your child feel during the visit? (If your child does not come with you on the first visit, schedule a second meeting where they will be with you.)