Group child care center policies

If you are considering a group child care arrangement, ask for a complete written list of policies. Ask questions if all of your answers are not answered by documentation. You will need to know basic facts about the center as well as details about safety, rules, activities, and what's expected of the parents.

General operations

  • Payment
  • Hours of operation and holiday closures
  • Procedures for sign in/sign out of children
  • When a child must be kept home or sent home
  • Notice requirements for ending arrangement

Emergency procedures

  • Fire
  • Medical emergency
  • Bad weather
  • Severe contagious illness (such as meningitis)
  • Staff training: first aid and CPR

Food preparation

  • Any prepared on-site? If so, what area?
  • Are meals and snacks nutritious?
  • Any restrictions on what can be brought in?

Hygiene practices

  • Hand-washing
  • Diapering
  • How often are toilets, sinks, and counter tops disinfected?
  • How often are floors and carpets cleaned?
  • How often are toys disinfected?

Rules for children

  • Are there behavior policies and rules in place? If so, what are they?
  • How are children disciplined? How is physical aggression handled?
  • Are toys from home allowed?

Other information

  • Record-keeping. Are the children's records kept in a private but easy-to-access place?
  • Parent involvement and expectations. Are parents invited to be on committees or on the governing body of the child care center?

Last Updated: September 26, 2008

Author: Debby Golonka, MPH

Medical Review: Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Michael J. Sexton, MD - Pediatrics

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