Choosing Child Care for Your
Choosing child care for your children is one of the most important
decisions you can make as a parent. Selecting the appropriate type of care is
very important to their health and well-being.
Nebraska requires that anyone providing services to four or more
children at any one time (from families other than that of the provider and for
payment) to be licensed. Licensing requires that the caregiver/teacher and the
facility both meet minimal health and safety standards. Most importantly,
licensing means that the facility has been inspected by a fire marshal and
background checks have been ran on all caregivers.
Please remember, licensing regulations are minimal standards and do not
provide any guarantees. As a parent, you are strongly encouraged to visit and
evaluate any child care facility you are considering for your child. Spend at
least 15 minutes interviewing the prospective provider and visit the facility
with your child more than once, with one of the visits unannounced.
The following are suggestions for the types of questions to ask and
observations to make during a visit to a prospective child care facility.
What is the fee per hour/day/week/month?
- Are there late arrival fees or other fees I
should be aware of?
- Is there a formal contract to sign?
- How much notice is required to end the contract?
What are the arrangements if/when the provider
is on vacation, ill, etc.?
Does the Provider:
Appear patient and friendly?
- Encourage parents to observe, discuss policies,
make suggestions, and participate in the program?
- Seem to be someone your child will enjoy being
- Seem to enjoy his/her work?
- Understand what children can and want to do at
different stages of growth?
- Have methods of dealing with behaviors that
agree with your own and are consistent with licensing standards?
- Seem to have enough time to look after all the
children in care?
- Show interest in your child, family and your
- Appear organized, with a routine and rules that
children can understand and follow?
- Have previous experience/training in working
- Have other people who will be caring for your
- Make arrangements when he/she has an emergency
that takes them away from the children?
Does the setting:
Have a safe outdoor play area and equipment?
- Have a safe, clear area where infants can play?
- Provide enough space for napping and appropriate
surface (cots, cribs, mats)?
- Have locked storage for medications, cleaners,
poisons, guns and ammunition?
- Have working smoke detectors?
- Have a fire and tornado safety diagram posted?
- Have pets? If so, are they vaccinated?
- Have at least two approved exits for child care
- Have enough space inside and outdoors so all
children can move freely and safely?
- Have enough furniture, play toys, and other
equipment for all children to be individually involved?
- Have equipment and materials that are suitable
for the ages of the children?
- Have a clean, safe place to change diapers?
Do activities include:
Creative experiences such as play-acting, music,
reading and art?
- Transportation (if needed) with appropriate seat
belts and car seats?
- Adequate supervision at all times when children
are in care?
- Time outdoors with adequate supervision?
- Toys and play equipment that are right for the
child’s age and state of development?
- Washing hands after diapering, toileting and
before preparing food?
- Enough caregivers/teachers to give individual
attention to all children?
- Nutritious meals and snacks throughout the day?
- Quiet and active play; indoors and outdoors?
- A schedule that meets young children’s need for
routine, but is flexible enough to meet the needs of each child?