Parent Resources

Indicators of High-Quality Child Care

When searching for child care, we encourage parents to visit centers and program locations, talk with directors and staff members, and see for themselves if the program will be a good fit. The following are key indicators to look for when choosing child care:

Child with a wagon

Health and Safety

  • Is the program licensed by New York State?
  • Does the program comply with the appropriate child care provider-to-child ratios?

  • Do caregivers and children wash hands before and after meals, diapering, toileting, or contact with bodily fluid?
  • Are providers in the program certified and trained to give your child medications?
  • Is the environment free from hazards by using outlet covers, wires out of reach, and cleaning fluids and medicines are locked away?
  • Are toys, diaper changing areas, and other commonly used materials washed frequently? 


Care Routines

  • Are the same providers in the room each day so children can develop relationships and feel secure?
  • Do providers respect and accommodate individual sleeping and eating patterns?
  • Do providers encourage children to be independent during meals, toileting, and dressing?



  • Are providers trained in Infant and Child CPR and First Aid?
  • Do providers stay up-to-date with their training and education? How much experience do they have?
  • How long have the providers been with the child care program? Does the program have a high turnover rate?
  • Do providers seem knowledgeable about the specific needs of children, planning age-appropriate activities based on observations?


Working With Families

  • Do providers encourage families to visit whenever possible?
  • Do caregivers support and accommodate mothers who want to breastfeed throughout the day?
  • Do providers and families communicate on a daily basis by talking about or writing down information at drop off/pick up time?
  • Are providers respectful of each family’s language, belief, culture, and parenting beliefs?
  • Are providers always available and willing to answer questions?
  • Do providers keep information about children and families confidential?


Learning Environments

  • Do providers have space for children to play on the floor?
  • Do providers have opportunities for children to climb, run, jump, and dance?
  • Do providers have a variety of materials for infants and toddlers to touch, look at, listen to, smell, and taste?
  • Do providers read and sing with children?
  • Do caregivers encourage children to choose who and what they want to play with?
  • Are there opportunities for play time outside?