Frequently Asked Questions

A preschool boy constructs a ramp with wood pieces at The Learning Loft preschool in Albany, Oregon.Q: How do I evaluate a child care center and preschool?
A: Visit several programs and look for safety, good supervision of the children (even during nap time) and healthy practices such as frequent hand washing by staff and children.

Q: How can I specifically judge the safety of a child care program?
A: Each classroom should have a first aid kit and every teacher should be certified in infant and child first aid and CPR. Toxic substances should be kept away from children, including cleaning supplies and pest controls. The center should practice fire drills and other emergency drills once a month. Playground equipment and toys should be in good condition with no sharp edges.

Q: What is a teacher to child ratio?
A: This is how many teachers are in a classroom and how many children they will be taking care of. For instance 1:4 means there is one teacher for every four children.

Q: What other types of information will help me make the best decision for my family.
A: Ask about the teacher’s training and experience. Are the discipline and behavior policies compatible with your philosophy? What variety of activities are offered for my age of child? Are the teachers at the child care center educated in child development?

There is not a question you should feel uncomfortable asking. If you have narrowed down your choices it is time to ask for a classroom orientation. This is when parents and child will visit the classroom for an extended time to familiarize both with teachers and practices.