What... (i.e. camp, dance class, birthday party)
        
 
Pick a NYMetroParents Region: All Regions   Manhattan    Brooklyn    Queens    Westchester    Rockland   Fairfield    Nassau    Suffolk  

Resources

   

HOW TO CHOOSE A DAY CARE CENTER IN NYC

     Home  >  Articles  > HOW TO GUIDES
by Rebecca Forbes

Related:


Targeting centers
—Ask for referrals from friends, family and co-workers.  And start early, three months in advance if possible.

—Do your homework.  Make sure the centers you are looking at are licensed (see below).

                                                           

—Think about what you want in a day care center — a place for your child to experience socialization, a place for your child to begin learning, or a combination of both?

—Call the centers to make an appointment to drop by.  Ask for an appointment while classes are in session so that you can observe the children and the teachers.

—Plan your appointment for the beginning or the end of the day if possible so that you can engage other parents in conversation.  Ask what they like or dislike about the place where their child is enrolled.  Other parents are generous sharers!

At your appointment
—Look at all areas, both indoors and out — classrooms, common rooms, kitchen, bathrooms, play areas. 

—Are the areas clean and free of safety hazards? Are toys and equipment clean and maintained?

—Observe the children at play. Does it gel with what you want for your child?

—Are there adequate supplies — games, toys and books, plus free-form play materials?

—Is every child supervised at all times?
 
—Double check hours of operation. Ask about extended hour options. Ask about policy — what happens if you are late in picking up your child?

—Ask for a list of public holiday/religious holiday schedules/possible closures.

—What is the center’s policy on snow days?

—If your child requires medication, check to make sure the center is permitted to administer. Not all are.

—Ask about sickness policies.  When is a child not permitted to attend the center due to sickness? What is the policy for alerting parents when a child takes ill during the day?

—Ask about the staffers — their backgrounds, education, and any special training.

—How does the center check backgrounds of staffers?

—How does staff handle initial separation from the parent?  Is there a policy for this?

—Make sure that each center you visit makes you feel welcome, opens up their doors for observation, and spends a reasonable amount of time answering your questions. 

Before you make that final decision
—Imagine the time has come for you to leave your child in the center.  How comfortable would you feel?

—Like so many aspects of parenting, choosing a day care center should be dependent on your gut reactions!

Once your child is enrolled at a center
—Drop by, unannounced, during the day. This is the very best test!


Day Care Center Licensing
   The Bureau of Day Care is the licensing body for centers in NYC.  To find out if a center is licensed, go to www.nyc.gov/health and click on “Day Care Information”. You can search for centers within boroughs under name, neighborhood or zipcode and access the following information:

  —when the center's permit expires—age range of children

—maximum number of children allowed

—date and report of last public health sanitation inspection, plus previous violations and whether these have been corrected


To find out if you are eligible for free or low-cost day care, call 311 and request information on subsidized day care.



Boredom buster

Be a parent in the know
Receive our weekly highlights newsletter · Over 1,000 local activities

More HOW TO GUIDES Articles

Three Tips for a Happier Holiday
How To Help Your Kids Succeed in Sports
How To Help Your Child Tackle Homework
How to Keep Kids Focused in School When Spring Fever Hits
How To Throw an 'Up' Birthday Party for Kids

Be a good fellow parent and share this with a friend who would be interested
Email Friend

Local HOW TO GUIDES Sponsors


Broadway Bound Kids
St. Michael's Church, 225 W. 99th St.
New York, NY
917-300-8554
Belt out show tunes, create scripts, become songwr...

Replay Music Studios
421 Hudson St.
New York, NY
212-235-7510
Replay Music Studios is a high-tech rehearsal stu...
Red Rabbit Music
437 Bergen St
Park Slope, NY
718-916-4999
...

ABC Child Center
109 Nassau Ave.
Greenpoint, NY
718-389-9004
ABC is open year-round, Monday - Friday, 8:00 am ?...

Camp Léman
41 Broad St
NY, NY
212-232-0266 x254
Have a FUNderful summer at Léman Manhattan....
See Our HOW TO GUIDES Directory

local zones

Nassau

Nassau cont.

Suffolk

Suffolk cont.

Westchester

Westchester cont.

Fairfield

Rockland

Rockland cont.

Queens

Queens cont.

Brooklyn

Brooklyn cont.

Manhattan

Copyright 2015 NY Metro Parents Magazine Site Design: THE VOICE