Choosing a Care Provider

At the St. Charles Children’s Learning Center, we know that picking a compassionate and loving caregiver may be one of the hardest and most important decisions parents face.

So many providers, developmental theorists, and caregiver styles to choose from, yet what you really want is a safe, comfortable place with attentive teachers who will encourage your child to realize their potential, make friends, and learn something new every day.

As parents and educators, we understand the difficulties of your choice.  To help, we have compiled a list of questions we hope you will consider as you and your child visit different providers in the area.  Take your time and know your decision will be the right one for your child.

Center Environment:

  • Is the atmosphere warm and inviting?
  • Are the rooms clean and organized?
  • Are there separate diaper changing areas?
  • Is the kitchen or snack area clean, well stocked?
  • Are child-sized bathrooms available and clean?
  • Is proper hand washing encouraged and taught?
  • Does the center show signs of needing repair?

Staff:

  • Is the staff licensed and trained in early childcare practices and child development?
  • Are they encouraged to seek continual professional development?
  • Is the staff well groomed?
  • Do they seem content and engaged in the work they do?
  • What is the turnover rate for staff?

Safety and Security:

  • Is there appropriate adult supervision?
  • Do caregivers wash their hands?
  • How are accidents handled?
  • Are dangerous materials, cleaning products, and medicines stored out of the reach of students?
  • Are licenses and permits displayed prominently?
  • Are there smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinklers in each room and hall?
  • Are teachers certified in First Aid and CPR?  Are medical boxes in each room?
  • Are there sign in/out sheets, ids for visitors, door alarms/locks?
  • Are immunizations required?
  • How does the staff deal with behavioral and other student problems?
  • Is transportation available?  Are drivers licensed?

Communication:

  • Does the staff acknowledge your child?
  • Does the staff seem patient and loving towards their students?
  • Does the staff communicate in an inviting and positive manner?
  • Do you feel rushed to complete your visit?
  • Does the staff take the time to answer all of your questions?
  • Does the center have an emergency weather/evacuation plan?
  • Do they provide up-to date weather closing and delayed opening information via a hotline and email and text messages?
  • Are school events and celebration notices provided to parents and relatives?
  • How does the center communicate with parents?

Learning:

  • Are there age-appropriate toys and learning materials available?
  • Does the staff seem knowledgeable about age-appropriate activities and lessons?
  • Do children participate in group and individualized activities daily?
  • Do the rooms look fun, full of opportunities to learn?
  • Do teachers encourage their students to learn and explore at their own pace?
  • Do pre-k students meet or exceed state Kindergarten Readiness Standards at graduation?
  • Is there an outdoor play area?  Is it well maintained?
  • Do students regularly go on field trips?
  • Are caring/empathy, social skills and manners taught?
  • Are toys and materials clean and readily accessible by kids?
  • Do community and civic leaders regularly visit and engage with students?
  • Are the classes small?  Do children receive one-on-one interaction regularly?
  • Does learning include play, problem solving opportunities, and time for quiet reflection?
  • Are reading, math, and science emphasized?
  • Do the children seem happy and engaged in activities?
  • Is creative play and art encouraged and are materials, props, etc. available?
  • Is there a space for indoor physical play?
  • What kind of special events are planned through the year?
  • Is diversity within the student and staff body encouraged and appreciated?
  • Are parents encouraged to volunteer?  How often and how many participate?

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