Looking for and Enrolling Your Child in an Early Childhood Center

There are several different dimensions to consider when looking for a quality early childhood program.

What to look for?

Just imagine walking into a child care center for the first time with a six-week-old infant as you begin your search for child care. It can be an overwhelming experience.  We had more experience buying a car with more resources to make a sound decision than we do searching for child care.


What is the Climate of the school?

  1. What should I look for, as I walk into a child care facility?
  2. How am I greeted?
  3. Do I feel like I am welcomed?
  4. Are the school personnel cordial and friendly with each other?
  5. What is the school’s Buzz or feeling?


Once you have done a quick assessment of the Climate, now what? You need to begin to get more concrete, such as:

The investigation begins…find out the following:

  1. Is the Center licensed and accredited?
  2. What is the group size?
  3. What is the teacher –student ratio?
  4. What is the background of teachers, turnover  rate, and professional development offered to teachers?
  5. Are families welcomed – open door policy?
  6. How are families involved?


Now that we have a clearer framework, it is time to get to the nitty-gritty of the process…the QUESTIONS!

Consider your child’s point of view.

  • What kinds of people and activities make your child comfortable and happy?
  • What do you observe when you visit the program?
  • What are your impressions of the person/s who will take care of your child?

Consider the physical setting and environment.

  • Is it the type of place where your child will be happy, safe, and comfortable while you are away?
  • What are the program’s policies and expectations?
TRUST YOUR GUT…at the end of the day, you must trust your gut! There is something deep inside of each of you that drives you. We say, it is gut instinct, but gut instinct is only an experience we had that we  may not even remember. 

Post by Stephen Zwolak