- What are the staff-to-child ratios?
- What is the rate of staff turnover? It's a particular issue for large centers.
- Do the kids go off the premises at all? How often?
- Do they mix the age-groups? Some places this is prohibited by law, but many parents believe it's good for the children to interact with children of varying ages.
- Is there a curriculum?
- Is there a contract? If so, take a copy home.
(I will take for granted that you will check that the environment and equipment are clean and safe.)
For hiring a Nanny:
Of the various daycare options, nannies have probably been the most widely discussed here at Work It, Mom! There are tips for figuring out how to interview a nanny and suggestions for interview questions and conversation topics, and a recent Q&A on what Work It, Mom! members decided to ask when they interviewed their candidates.
- Why did she leave her last placement?
- What does she love about her job?
- What's something she doesn't like about it?
- If you're considering nanny-sharing, is she open to that? Has she ever done it before?
If you're going through an agency, ask all of the above, plus:
- Does agency provide back-up in case of nanny illness?
- What happens if nanny quits?
- Do they provide a nanny-to-client contract, or do you contract only with the agency? (Either way, read it through!)