Key questions to ask when you visit a service

Before you enrol your baby or child in an early childhood education service you will want to check that they will be happy and learning in a safe and caring environment. Here are suggestions for questions you may like to ask when you visit an early childhood service.

  • Will you have a place for my child? Is there a waiting list?
  • How many children are in the group at any time?
  • How many teachers are there for this group of children?
  • Will a particular teacher be responsible for my child?
  • How does the service cater for infants and toddlers, and for older children? Are there appropriate facilities for different ages?
  • What qualifications do your educators have? How many educators are qualified? Do you have qualified educators available for relieving?
  • What is special about this service? What do you think is important for children’s learning?
  • How do you make sure that children are safe and settled?
  • How do you respond to children’s interests and strengths?
  • How will I know what my child has learned?
  • How can I be involved?
  • What is your approach to managing difficult behaviour?
  • What should I do if I am worried about my child’s experiences at the service?
  • What is your complaints procedure?
  • What fees will I be expected to pay?
  • Do you have the most recent ERO report on your service?
  • Can you tell me about the centre routines, and what my child will do during the day?
  • When is the centre open?
  • What are the arrangements for delivering and collecting my child?
  • What are the arrangements for snacks and meals?
  • What are the toileting arrangements?
  • What provision is there for tired children?
  • What should my child wear, and will he or she need spare clothes?
  • What will happen if my child is sick or has an accident?
  • What are the arrangements if there is an emergency?

You may also have questions about what you have seen at the service, or what comes up as educators answer your other questions.