Selecting child care is a very important decision. Since the quality of child care facilities and the expertise of those who care for children varies widely, you should explore all the alternatives before making this very important decision.
Things to Do:
Start your search early; if possible before your child is born
Thoroughly investigate each choice before making a decision
Consider location / hours of operation / cost / and programs offered to narrow your choices
After you have narrowed your options, be sure to visit each location during operating hours, so that you can see how caregivers and children interact.
Consider the staff - what are their credentials?
What is the ratio of caregivers to children?
Check to see if the facility is licensed and meets county and state regulations.
In the state of Tennessee, you can contact the Tennessee Department of Human Services - Child Care Licensing Board at 615-313-4820
After the choice has been made, be sure to observe how your child interacts with the caregiver(s) and other children. Allow some time for your child to adjust to the new situation, and get to know the staff. You may wish to drop in unexpectedly from time to time to observe.