When it’s time to put your child into a daycare or preschool, there is some homework involved. Here are the top ten safety tips that are useful when looking for a preschool or daycare center.

Take the time to make sure the program is reputable and whether the facility has had any past complaints. Either with parents, previous teachers, or care-givers. You also want to know about the existing teachers.

Talk with other moms about where they bring their kids. They will let you know if they had good experiences or not.

If you are new to the neighborhood, go to the receptionist at your area pediatrician. They know everybody! They pretty much have a pulse on the community. Nurses and doctors are O.K., but busy. Receptionists will have the time to answer your questions.

Learn about the school or center’s hiring policies and practices. Find out whether they check an applicant’s references, perform background checks, and verify previous employment history before hiring.

Learn whether the center or school welcomes and supports parental participation.

Make sure you have the right to drop in and visit the facility at any time.

Make sure you are informed about every planned field trip and outing. Never give the organization general permission to take your child off the premises.

Make sure that the facility has you sign a release to publish your child’s picture in any local newspapers. And it is definitely O.K. if you don’t what to have your child’s picture in the paper for their safety.

Prohibit, in writing, the release of your child to anyone without your explicit consent. Make sure the program knows who will pick up your child on any given day.

Ask the facility what their policy is on strangers or unauthorized persons that might come into the facility. Do they have any type of safety measures when someone who does not have custody or right to a child, show up? What is their protocol? What would they do?

You want your child to have an enjoyable and fun experience in their first learning facility. By asking questions and doing some investigation, you can rest assure that they will be in a safe environment as well.

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