Parents are regularly provided with information about the daily schedule and programming, as well as about their child’s day and activities
(If the child care setting is multi-age): There are activities, equipment and materials suited to children of different ages
Children have access to a variety of kinds of age-appropriate equipment and materials
Activities emphasize play and exploration through group and individual activities
Children have considerable opportunity for active play, much of it outdoors.
The child care environment is set up in a safe, accessible and interesting way (for example, children can use materials freely)
Children are not overly controlled or programmed; at the same time, they are not wandering around aimlessly
Children are engaged with the materials and environment, they look busy, content and relaxed.
There are displays of children’s work and documentation of activities
Diversity – racial, ethnic, gender, ability – is well represented in materials, visually and in programming.
The space is organized to make transitions (from indoors to outdoors, or from active play to lunchtime) smooth
There is a welcoming, warm atmosphere for parents
There is at most limited use of TV or other passive technology
Staff/caregivers have education or training related to working with young children; at a minimum, provincial/territorial training requirements are met by the centre or home
The staff/caregiver engages in professional development or information sharing with others in early childhood education on an ongoing basis
Staff/caregivers can provide a police reference check. (this is likely to be a requirement in a centre or regulated home setting)
In a home setting, caregivers can provide references
Staff/caregivers have a clearly defined approach to education and caring
Staff/caregivers treat children with respect, listen to them and respond to them sensitively
Staff/caregivers encourage co-operation, problem-solving and independence in the children
Staff/ caregiver welcomes parents into the child care environment at any time; there is an “open door” policy
There is a plan for staff/caregiver replacement in the event of their illness or other absence
(In a centre): Staff communicate with each other in a positive and respectful manner (the program seems to have a good working environment)
(In a centre): All staff (and practicum students, if they are present) are acknowledged and introduced to visitors in a respectful way
A policy manual or policy document is available to parents
Goals and objectives for children and parents are articulated
Parents are involved or consulted about the program or other aspects of the child care
If children with special needs are enrolled: Is the approach fully inclusive ?
Good to know...
Is the child care centre a not-for-profit organization? For-profit? Publicly-operated? Who’s responsible for it – A parent board? A community board? A municipal government? An owner? A company? If there is a “head office”, where is it?
How often, and how, are parents expected to participate in centre or home activities?
What are the hours of operation?
How much are the fees? When are fees due? Are receipts issued for payment of fees?
Is there an extra charge for bringing a child early or arriving later than usual to pick up the child?
Can the centre/home accept fee subsidies from the provincial/territorial government?
What’s the policy about paying for holiday times (when the child is away)?
Is there a deposit (to be on the waiting list?) ? If so, is it refundable?
(In a family child care home): Is it supported by a family child care agency or regularly inspected by the provincial/territorial government (i.e. is the child care home regulated)?