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What to Look for in a Daycare for Your Child

1. Posted License
2. Clean, bright room
3. Plenty of natural light (windows)
4. Staff should appear neat, clean and professional
5. Staff should be warm, friendly, approachable, and appear to enjoy their job
6. Posted menu (if meals are provided)
7. Posted curriculum description (weekly or monthly plan overview)
8. Age appropriate toys
9. Toys should be in good repair and clean.
10. Toys should be easily accessible to children
11. Oustide play area should be fenced in
12. Playground equipment should be safe and in good repair
13. Specific learning areas should be obvious (dramatic play, art, library, puzzles, blocks, circle time space, computers)
14. The children already enrolled should appear happy
 Additional Suggestions:
It is always a good idea to visit a daycare center and observe a classroom for up to two hours. You should trust your first instinct if you feel that there is something that you are uncomfortable with. For example, by observing several facilities or home daycares, you will be able to distinguish the daycare providers who love their jobs from those who are unhappy and ill at ease with the children. Furthermore, appearances are not always deceiving. If staff members appear to have come to work in the same clothes that they slept in, it may be safe to assume that they do not take their job seriously. Of course daycare providers are not going to arrive in their best clothes because they will probably go home with paint, marker, spit up, and more all over themselves. Still, a clean pair of jeans and a neat t-shirt conveys more respect for the parents and children. Go with your gut feeling.

Great list! I really suggest that parents inquire if their child can have a "trial" run at a center for a half a day or so...this is really a great way to see if it's a match. Also, ALWAYS ask around about the places your checking out. Parents LOVE to talk...and take their suggestions seriously as this can help in the all important search :)
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