Bookmark this page

Child Care and Children's Programs

Selecting a private home for child care

We know that parents have differing requirements of a provider home. We encourage each parent to visit a potential provider’s home and assess it with his or her own priorities in mind.

The following are some areas of common concern. Observation will be sufficient in some areas, while in others, the parent would ask specific questions.

Where will the following activities take place?

  • Floor play.
  • Table play.
  • Reading a book.
  • Resting.
  • Eating.
  • Outdoor play.
  • Washing hands.

Is the home safe and suitable for your child?

  • Stairwells guarded.
  • Smoke alarm operational.
  • Balcony doors locked.
  • Windows and screens secure.
  • Hazardous substances (e.g. bleach, medicines, etc.) out of reach.

Are some areas of the home, which may be dangerous, off limits to children?

  • Basement.
  • Kitchen.
  • Bedroom.
  • Balconies.

Does the home meet your own standards of housekeeping?

Is there smoking in the home?

Are there pets in the home?

Where will your child rest? How long is the rest period?

What are the daily activities?

  • Are there adequate books suitable for your child? Should you bring some of your own?
  • Are there adequate play materials to meet your child's needs? Should you bring some of your own?
  • Will floor play be encouraged, and how will it be supervised?
  • Will outside play be encouraged, and how will it be supervised?
  • What meals will be served throughout the day, and at what times? What will they consist of?
  • Will your child be involved in cooking, drawing, painting, colouring, and making things with his/her hands?
  • Will the provider read to your child?
  • Will your child be able to listen to music and sing?
  • Will your child be taken out in the neighbourhood and on longer trips?
  • Will your child watch T.V.? If so, what programs?
  • If a playpen is to be used, how long will your child be left in it?
  • If your child is a baby, what is the diapering routine? How often will he/she be changed?
  • Can a school-aged child take part in after-school activities, as well as neighbourhood and community activities?
  • Will your child take part in the general household routines, such as helping in the kitchen, setting the table and drying dishes?

How does the home feel?

  • Does the provider enjoy the children?
  • Do the children in the home like the provider?
  • Does the provider listen to the children and answer their questions in a patient manner?
  • How does the provider deal with undesirable behaviour?
  • Does the provider let the children make suggestions? And does he/she let them do things independently?
  • Will the provider take time to talk with you and listen to your comments?
  • Does the provider have a lot of energy?

Who else will be in the home?

The other people in the provider's home influence the care he/she gives the children.

  • How many children does he/she care for?
  • Are children in the home older or younger than yours?
  • How will the other people in the home feel about you as a parent and about your child?
  • Are there other people making demands on the provider's time, while your child is in his/her home?

What are the rules of the house?

If you are seeking a child-care home through an agency, many of these rules will be agency requirements or regulations of the “Child Care and Early Years Act”.

  • Can you take your child to the provider if he/she is sick?
  • Will the provider administer medication?
  • Under what circumstances will the provider call you at work?
  • Who provides the food?
  • Who supplies the diapers?
  • What happens if you are late picking up your child?
  • What form of discipline does the provider use?
  • If your child is staying home or arriving late, are you required to phone the provider?
  • What items will you need to take to the provider’s home for your child?
  • What items should you NOT take to the provider’s home for your child?
  • What is the procedure if your child is ill or involved in an accident?

What health habits are encouraged in the home?

  • Do the children and provider wash their hands after using the toilet and before eating anything?
  • Will your child be able to brush his/her teeth after meals?
  • Will your child wash his/her face and comb his/her hair at the provider home?