For many years I was the supervisor of a child care centre. One of my responsibilities was giving prospective parents tours of the facility. A very important part of the tour, besides showcasing the actual space, was taking the time to explain about the program and answer any questions. I wanted potential clients to feel relaxed, feel informed and at the end of the day, I wanted them to feel ‘at home.’ Choosing a child care centre, a place where you are putting full trust in someone else’s hands to care for your child is hard. It’s scary, emotional and a big decision. I have compiled a list of questions you may wish to consider when touring potential centres for your child.
This list is not meant to overwhelm you but simply act as a reference. Depending on what is important to you and what works for your family, will determine the kinds of questions you choose to ask. Supervisors and directors giving your tour, want you to feel at ease so ask as many questions as you need to! This is your time to really get a feel of the environment, the energy, the program and the staff. It is my hope that when you head on your next tour, you feel confident and prepared!
Potential Questions To Ask on a Tour:
What is your approach to early childhood education?
Is your program play based? theme based?
Do you use the How Does Learning Happen document when program planning? (I highly recommend all families read this document!)
What is your preferred method of communication with parents?
Do your teachers have email addresses so we can communicate with them about our child?
Do you have a literacy program?
What do you do if a child isn’t interested in circle time?
Do you have centres set up around the classroom?
What about outdoor programming and outdoor play? How often do the children go outside?
Do you believe in risky play?
Under what conditions will you not use the outdoor space?
How do you keep parents informed about what’s happening in the classroom? Newsletters? Social media?
What do the children eat for snack and lunch?
What happens if my child isn’t eating?
How do you put children to sleep? Do you rock them? Do you do what we do at home?
What’s your screen-time policy?
How do you feel about receiving feedback?
What is your sick policy? Do you have a COVID screening policy?
What is your approach to classroom management? What happens if my child is “misbehaving”?