Just lined up an interview with your first (or 100th) home child care provider? Not sure what to look for to ensure the program you are touring is high quality? Print out this easy check list and bring it along to the interview 🙂

General Checklist:
• Are there 5 children (6 if agency affiliated) or fewer (including the caregiver’s own 6 years & under)?
• Have I checked references & police checks?
• Is there daily communication?
• Are surprise visits allowed?
• Is there an illness policy in place?
• Do I agree with methods of behaviour management?
• Am I content with the safety of any pets?
• Does the caregiver have full liability insurance of $2 million+ ?

Emergency Procedures Checklist:
• Does the caregiver have current first aid and CPR?
• Is there a well-stocked first aid kit accessible only to adults?
• Are emergency numbers posted by each telephone?
• Is parent contact information close by?
• Is a fire drill practised monthly?

Safety Behaviour Checklist:
• Are children directly supervised?
• Are safety straps used on highchairs, change tables, etc. every time?
• Is a properly installed, approved car seat used for outings? Does parent provide?
• Are regular maintenance checks done on equipment and toys used by children?
• Are toys and equipment regularly disinfected?

Indoor Environment Checklist:
• Is the home clean and well maintained?
• Is there space for active play?
• Does equipment meet current safety standards?
• Are there safety gates at the top and bottom of stairs?
• Are stairs well lit, with handrails?
• Are all poisonous and hazardous materials kept in a locked cupboard?
• Are plants nontoxic?
• Are all cords fastened and out of reach?
• Are electrical outlets covered?
• Are there working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on each level?
• Are fire extinguishers available and serviced?
• Is there a fire evacuation plan posted?
• Are basement, workshop, and laundry areas inaccessible?

Outdoor Environment Checklist:
• Is it free of hazardous materials and plants?
• Are gardening tools and chemicals locked away?
• Is play equipment in good condition?
• Does play equipment meet safety standards?
• Is the sandbox covered and raked regularly when used?

Sleeping Checklist:
• Is there one crib or bed per child?
• Do cribs & beds meet current standards?
• Is the crib or bed located away from other furniture, windows, and cords?
• Does each child have their own bedding that is washed as needed & weekly?

Meal Checklist:
• Are special diets, and allergies posted?
• Do menus follow Canada’s Food Guide?
• Where do the children eat?
• Is there a high chair or booster seat if needed?
• Does the highchair have a safety strap and a stable base?
• Is the highchair located away from appliances, windows, walls, and other furniture?

Bathroom Checklist:
• Is the hot water temperature set below 54˚C?
• Are all medicines, cosmetics, cleaners, and appliances locked away in a cupboard out of the reach of children?

Diapering Checklist:
• Is there a separate diapering area away from food?