Whether you work, attend school, or have a temporary emergency that takes you out of the home, your need for child care is shared by thousands of other parents. You are choosing a partner in the growth and development of your child which means deciding on a child care solution is one of the most important decisions you will make! Every family has unique needs when it comes to child care.

Pathways LA offers a variety of child care options to provide parents with choices that work best for them. For guidance on what to look for when choosing a provider, read the tips below and then click on the services available to determine what type of child care is ideal for your family.

What to look for when you visit a child care provider site

Pay attention to the child care provider and and other staff’s interaction with the children. Are they warm and welcoming and, most importantly, does the provider look to enjoy being with the children? Any adults in the room should behave respectfully toward the children on site as well as each other.

Some questions to consider asking providers:

  • What types of training and experience do you have, and does that include working with children with special needs?
  • How do you include children with special needs in the daily activities and routines?
  • What is the daily routine?
  • Is your program licensed or accredited?
  • Are there opportunities for parents to become involved?
  • Do you have a list of references?
  • What is the adult-t0-child ratio?
  • What happens if my child becomes ill or needs medication while in your care?
  • What is your disaster emergency plan?
  • What are the fees, when are they due, and are there any additional fees I should know of?
  • Do you have any written policies or procedures, such as holiday, illness, vacation, or instances of late pick up or drop off?

Be sure to pay look for signs of best practices when it comes to health and safety. For example, children should be supervised at all times – even when they’re napping – and just like at home, the environment should be child proofed for safety so check to be sure there are smoke detectors, radiator covers, electrical safety caps, and no dangerous items left out.

Children do best when they can choose from a variety of activities. Inquire about activity options provided to the children (indoor/outdoor play, quiet or active engagement, group or individual play).