If you feel the childcare provider has "passed" the previous round of more technical questions, start asking more about the environment of the home or childcare facility.

  • What is the adult-to-child ratio in the program?
  • How is your child going to spend her day?
  • Does this childcare provider or program agree with my philosophy of childrearing?
  • What is the provider's take on child guidance and discipline?
Parents should go with their gut instinct when visiting a childcare provider, Smith says. "If your gut instinct is good, then keep looking around," she says. "If it's bad, get out of there because there's no way that you should leave your child where your basic instincts says it's not a good situation for child. The parent is the best predictor of their child's fit in a program."

Recommendations also help in deciding if a provider will be a good match for you. If you have the same expectations as friends and family members who also have children in childcare, advice from them can be a good way to find a caregiver that's right for you and your children.

Characteristics of a good childcare worker


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