Leaving your child in the care of a stranger is not an easy decision to make or one that should be made without carefully vetting prospective childcare providers. By quizzing them thoroughly on their qualifications, methodologies, experience and more you’ll be able to feel comfortable with your ultimate choice.
Questions to Pose to Providers of Home Childcare in Toronto
In some cases you’ll know within 10 or 15 minutes whether a provider of home-based childcare in Toronto is a good match. In other cases it might require an hour long interview and several follow up visits. Here are some standard questions to ask that will help you get the process started:
- How long have you been in business? – While everyone has to start somewhere, when it comes to childcare the more experience the better.
- Are you licensed? – The law requires childcare agencies to be licensed. If the home childcare provider works through an agency visit the agency and ask to see to see their license.
- How many children do you care for? – Overcrowding means a higher likelihood of accidents regardless of how experienced the provider may be.
- What is the child/adult ratio? – If the child/adult ratio is more than 4:1 you run the risk that your child will be poorly served.
- What about background checks? – Anyone working with children should undergo a thorough background check. Make sure you ask the agency about this.
- How flexible are you with pickup times? – Some providers levy stiff penalties if you’re late picking up your child. Find out before you commit.
- What is the sick child policy? – While the effectiveness of banning sick kids is debatable you’ll still need to know what the agency’s policy is.
- How do you handle medical emergencies? – Is there someone in the home who is trained to handle basic medical emergencies? If not, you’ll want to pass. All agency providers have standard first aid and cpr.
- Who else has access to the home? – During the hours when kids are there access to the house should be limited. Is this the case?
- How much time do the kids spend watching TV? – Some childcare providers will flip on the TV and sit back, while responsible ones will provide the children with a range of activities.
- What type of food do you serve? – The home provider should have nutritious meals and snacks for the kids; not just sugar, fat and soda. Ask do they follow the Canada’s Food Guide.
Other things you may want to ask about include the type of toys and play equipment and whether those are age-appropriate, where and when the children nap, whether there’s any type of CCTV or other video coverage and whether or not you’re allowed to visit your child during the day.
J & F Home Childcare has been providing high quality childcare in Toronto for more than 35 years. We’re fully licensed and dedicated to the well-being of the children in our care. Call us on (416) 494-5898 to schedule a visit or to ask any questions you may have about our full range of services.