10 Tips to a Quality Childcare “Daycare”

Whether you are searching for daycare that is served in a childcare center setting or an in home provider, there are some things that you want to be sure of. Here is a list of 10 items that are a must when finding a quality childcare setting.

  • Does the provider interact with your child as well as you?
  • Do they ask the name of your child?
  • Preschool children will often times interact with the provider, does the provider interact back? Asking questions, etc.

  • Do all of the adults have background clearances?
  • All state licensed childcare facilities must have background clearances on all staff members and volunteers.
  • All state licensed in home providers must have background clearances on all adults living in the home.

  • What are the procedures for cleaning?
  • All state licensed childcare facilities are required to clean the toys weekly.
    • We at A to Z Building Blocks clean our toys daily using a 350 degree steamer

  • What is the sick policy? What are the hand washing policies?
    • Children pick up germs as they are transferred from one child to another. Whenever they are around other children they will transfer colds, runny noses, stomach virus. Eventually children will build an immune system, but in the first five to six months children tend to get sick more often. Hand washing is a big asset to childcare settings to help the germs from spreading.
    •  A to Z Building Blocks wants to keep children healthy so we offer a clean environment where children wash hands when entering the facility, before and after eating, using the bathroom, after outside play, and many other opportune times.
    • A to Z Building Blocks follows the Utah health department standards that says “A child should be excluded any time the illness prevents the child from participating comfortably in the daily activities or if the child demands more attention than the staff can adequately give.” We want to keep the children in our care healthy. We do not allow children to come if they have fevers, diarrhea, or throwing up.

  • What are the rules with outdoor play in the winter and summer?
    • Often times we think of the weather permitting only being permissible when it is winter, but both winter and summer present extreme temperatures. Outdoor play is crucial in child care settings. Large quantities of children are mixed together and germs pass easily. Outdoor fresh air allows for ventilation.
    • A to Z Building Blocks uses the Child Care Weather Watch to determine if it is safe for children to be outdoors. *see calendar section on our website for additional information

  • How does the provider discipline children?
    • Children need lots of love and attention.
    • A to Z Building Blocks believes in giving children attention that they crave. We follow the following techniques with the children in our care.
      • Toddlers are redirected with soft touches and calm voices.
        • Infants and toddlers are learning through their natural play and they sometimes need to be taken to another activity to divert their attention.
      • Two Year Olds
        • Two year olds are also learning how to explore their world through touch and exploration. They need to be redirected on occasions and respond better to redirection than time outs and loud voices.
      • Preschoolers
        • Preschoolers and school age children respond better to rules that are set up in the classroom and set up by them. Using positive directions such as we use our walking feet, or we use our inside voices.
        • Explaining what they have done wrong and how they can change what they did wrong is the best way to guide preschoolers and school age children.

  • What does the provider do with the children why they are in your care?
    • Infants like to be held and played with.
      • Doing simple finger plays, using expressive language when taking care of infants, simple signing, and assessing where their developmental milestones are.
    • Toddlers enjoy walking and running around. They need to be active and have duplicate toys to help avoid conflicts because they haven’t developed the concept of being able to share.
    •  Preschoolers need to be in a hands-on learning environment. They need opportunities to explore freely with a teacher being an active participant. Teachers should follow the cues of the children in the classroom and build upon on the knowledge the children currently have. The environment should be set up with open shelves, art that is created by the child instead of something copied, and toys should give opportunities for exploration and enhancement.
    • School age children need to have challenging activities that will help encourage their minds to keep working.
  • A to Z Building Blocks has set up our classrooms to help children learn through their natural play environment from infancy thru school age children.

  • What child development education do the providers have?
    • Are the teachers continuing their education in child care, taking classes to help keep them current with new philosophies, and using their training in their classrooms?
      • A to Z Building Blocks requires our staff members to take child care courses to help them in their classrooms. A to Z Building Blocks encourages teachers to go to school and seeks out for caregivers that are educated.

  • What is the provider to child ratios? What is the group size of children?
    • Are ratio’s and group sizes within the state of Utah’s ratios?
    • A to Z Building Blocks always maintain strict ratio and group sized policies. Often times, ratios and group sizes excel the state requirements.
Ages of Children # of Caregivers # of Children Maximum Group Size
Birth-23 Months 1 4 8
2 Years Old 1 7 14
3 Years Old 1 12 24
4 Years Old 1 15 30
5 Years Old & School Ages 1 20 40
  • Home providers ratios are usually with mixed ages. Does the provider know the ratios and what do you observe when you are there?
# of Providers’ Related Children Ages 4-12 Present in the Home During Child Care Hours Maximum Allowed Number of Children in Care, Including the Providers’ Children Under Age 4 Total # of All Children Through Age 12 Present in the Home During Child Care Hours
0-4 8 children 12
5 7 children 12
6 6 children 12
7 5 children 12
8 4 children 12
9 3 children 12
10 2 children 12
11 1 child 12

  • How long have the providers been with the facility and how long has the facility been in business?
    • A to Z Building Blocks has expanded three different times. Opened in 2005 and expanded within one year and recently expanded again October 2015.
    • A to Z Building Blocks staff members have been with the company for years.
    • A to Z Building Blocks takes care of their staff members and ensures that they have their needs met.
  • Do the children have the same caregivers throughout the day?
    • A to Z Building Blocks care providers are with the same children throughout the day and have the same schedule each day.
  • How often do the children have substitute teachers?
    • A to Z Building Blocks believes in continuity of care and so the only time we have substitutes are when are providers are ill or on vacation. We believe that children do best when they interact with the same care providers each day.
  • In home providers
    • How long has the provider been caring for children?
    • Is there a substitute when the provider is sick or on vacation?
    • Who will be providing the care for your child on a daily basis?

Overall, different situations are better for different people. Parents must ask themselves which circumstances are right for their situation. Daycare centers and home care providers both have their positives and negatives. Often parents are concerned about the cost, but the real question should be What is going to be the best situation for my child to be in. Using these 10 tips will help you find the care that you and your child deserve!

CALL 801-763- 0722 in American Fork or 801-224- 4744 in Orem to set up for a tour at A to Z Building Blocks and we will show you how we can help give your children what they need and deserve. Our motto is CHILDCARE YOU CAN TRUST!