Questions to Ask Early Learning Professionals

Type & Quality of Care

When a child has access to high-quality early care and learning environments, they have access to certified, experienced professionals who support their development. To learn more about the type and quality of care your child care professional is providing, consider asking the following questions:

Program Details

    • What will a typical day for my child look like?
    • Does your program use a play-based curriculum? Can you tell me a little bit about it?
    • Is your facility Keystone STARS certified? If so, what is your STAR level?
    • How does your program contact families?
    • Will there be family engagement events or opportunities? Can you tell me more about them?

Health and Safety

    • What is your adult-to-child ratio for each age group?
    • How will I be alerted if there is an emergency?
    • What is your facility’s Emergency Preparedness Plan?
    • Are all staff at your program certified in pediatric CPR and first aid?
    • Are all staff at your program required to complete a PA Child Abuse History Clearance, PA State Police Criminal Record Check, FBI Criminal History Background Check, and National Sex Offender Registry Clearance?

Qualifications

    • Is your program state certified?
    • What other qualifications or certifications are staff required to have at your location?
    • What topics are staff regularly trained on or learning about?
    • How often do your staff access professional development courses?

Reflection

In addition to asking questions, parents and caregivers can benefit from personally reflecting on their visit to the early learning program. Take a few minutes to answer the following questions:

    • What did you notice during your visit to the early learning program?
    • Were caregivers playing with and talking to children at their level?
    • Were caregivers using a warm tone and kind touch to engage with children?
    • Were caregivers responsive rather than reactive?
    • Was the facility clean?
    • Were toys and materials readily available for children to engage with?

Print this Resource

This list of questions is available as a printable PDF.

More Information

Looking for additional questions you can ask to learn about your program’s updated procedures and operations during the COVID-19 pandemic? Visit our Questions to Ask Your Early Learning Provider During the COVID-19 Pandemic page.

 

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Series Navigation

The Developmentally Appropriate Parenting Series highlights several early childhood topics to support parents and caregivers who are caring for young children. Use the list below to navigate through each series topic:

Learn more about the series.

 

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