Before you choose a child care center, take a tour and take notes about your likes and dislikes. When you talk with the staff about your concerns, be sure to ask these essential questions:

  • How long has the center been in business?
  • Can you get recommendations from other parents?
  • Is it licensed?
  • How much does it cost?
  • What is the adult/child ratio?
  • Can you visit any time?
  • Does the center communicate regularly with parents?
  • What happens if your baby gets sick? Is the center hygienic? 
  • Is cleanliness a priority?
  • Does the center follow strict safety measures and required protocol?
  • What toys and activities are available every day?
  • Are the caretakers CPR-certified?
  • What happens in case of an emergency? What procedures are in place?

Once you’ve selected a daycare center, take your baby for a few visits before you go back to work to ease him into the environment. Start with just a couple hours one day, then a little longer the next, and a few more the next.

For a list of all child care centers currently licensed in NJ, visit the New Jersey Deptartment of Children and Families website.

Source: The Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year by Erika Landau, MD, and Abigail Brenner, MD; Alpha Books, 2011.

Any essential questions we should add to this list? Please share below.