1.Hours of operation 2.Fees charged 3.Ages of children licensed for 4.Care of sick children 5.Location easy to reach
Checklist rating scale:
0 – Can’t Tell1 – No, not in center 2 – Somewhat3 – Yes, center has
Physical Facility, Health & Safety
___ Home is reasonably clean and orderly.
___ No children are seen with soiled diapers or training pants.
___ Detergents, cleaners and medicines are out of the children's reach.
___ Electrical outlets are covered with safety caps.
___ Household items like knives, scissors, and curling irons are stored out of the children’s reach.
___ Toys and equipment are in good repair with no sharp edges, splinters, or loose parts.
___ A quiet area that can be darkened for napping with clean bedding for each child.
___ Toileting area is easy for the children to access with potty chairs, safe steps, or whatever is needed.
___ Has an area of the home where children can play out of the way of other family members.
___ A fenced outdoor play area in which the provider can see all areas of the yard easily.
___ Home is warm, cheerful, and inviting.
___ Caregiver spends time with the children rather than ignoring them to carry out household duties or talk on the phone.
___ Caregiver provides individual attention when needed. For example, an upset child is held, talked to, etc.
___ You can see the caregiver praising the children.
___ You can see the caregiver communicating effectively with the children, explaining in clear steps what she/he wants the children to do, answering the children's questions patiently, frequently
bending or kneeling down to the child's level when talking.
___ Children appear to be happy, comfortable, and relaxed - laughing, smiling, and involved in play.
___ Children enjoy one another - smile at each other, hold hands, hug, help each other more then they fight or argue.
___ Caregiver used the children's first names or nicknames when talking to or about them. She/he does not refer to them by unpleasant names.
___ Caregiver seems warm and affectionate with the children, smiling, cuddling, and speaking pleasantly.
___ Caregiver encourages the children to do some things for themselves, patiently giving them time, help and praise so that the child can learn to master the skill.
___ Caregiver talks to infants, cuddles, and plays with them during the day. Infants are not left alone for long periods of time.
___ Caregiver holds the infants when feeding them rather than propping up their bottles.
___ Caregiver is a person you would like your child to copy or imitate.
___ Attractive and well written story and picture books are available for the children.
___ Caregiver encourages listening and talking through planned activities like story telling, word games, doll play, etc.
___ The home has materials for quiet play, such as puzzles, and active play, such as riding toys.
___ Children can get at least some materials by themselves, and are encouraged to take care of the materials and put them away when finished.
___ Are enough toys and materials so that each child can play without having to wait more than a few minutes.
___ Caregiver encourages both boys and girls to play with all the materials. Caregiver does not give children the idea that a certain activity is only for boys or only for girls.
___ Children sometimes use creative materials, such as paint, crayons, big blank pieces of paper rather than coloring books, paste, clay etc.
___ Three or more of the following are available for the children’s use: large and small riding toys, pull toys, pounding toys, beads for stringing, puzzles, small and large blocks, nested toys,
small building toys like Tinker toys.
___ Children may watch only appropriate television programs and are not forced or encouraged to sit in front of the TV for long periods.
Home Center Coordination
___ Caregiver can tell you what meals and snacks will be served to the children this week.
___ Menus sound nutritious and contain foods your child likes.
___ Caregiver refrigerates infant bottles and foods and will feed according to your directions.
___ Ask what the caregiver does if a child does not like a certain food being served and see if you agree with his/her method.
___ Caregiver uses discipline and guidance methods similar to your own and are consistent and fair with the children.
___ Caregiver answers questions in a friendly, open way.
___ You feel comfortable and could expect to share concerns about your child with the caregiver.
Total score reflects both how good or poor the center is, and how much you were able to observe. In general, go by the following:
100-123 points: Excellent 80-100 points: Good 60-80 points: Possibly adequate 40-60 points: Look elsewhere 0-40 points: Definitely out
If you have a lot of items on the checklist with 0 points because you were not able to tell, then this will lower the overall score a lot. In this case, look at how you scored the rest of the items.
If most of your other scores are “3’s”, then this could be a very good center despite the fact that the total score is lower than it should be.