J-W Staff Reports
Here are some tips from Tina Ferguson, a former child-care provider who now works for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, to guide parents taking the day-care plunge:
- Look at the environment from the child's viewpoint. "Try to get down on their level and see if it's a safe environment," she said.
- Ask if children are supervised when they're playing outdoors.
- Ask where children nap. "I would ask to see those rooms and the actual environment that the children would be sleeping in," she said. "I'd ask where the caregiver is during nap time and how often are the children checked on."
- Determine if there are enough caregivers for the number and ages of children.
- "Look at the interaction between the caregiver and the children," Ferguson said. "Does he or she seem to really enjoy being with children?"
- Check over equipment and anything that children will be exposed to, including playground equipment.
- Make sure that anything marked "Keep away from children" is stored properly.
- Make unannounced drop-in visits.
- Parents can check on the status or compliance record of a child-care facility by calling the child-care licensing and registration division of KDHE at (785) 296-1270.