Lisa Dunning, MFT

Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist Article - How To Choose The Best Childcare Facility

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Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist
Parent / Child Relationship Specialist

How To Choose The Best Childcare Facility

Author Of Parenting Book
"Good Parents Bad Parenting"

Good Parents
Bad Parenting

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How To Choose The Best Childcare Facility
by Lisa Dunning, MA, MFT

Every parent has viewed children being mistreated in childcare facilities on news broadcasts. Parents who are able to stay home to care for their children feel a tremendous sense of relief that their children are safe at home. But for parents who must leave their children in the care of a childcare facility, these news stories are frightening and can bring on tremendous feelings of guilt. If you are a parent who must use childcare facilities to care for your children here are a few guidelines to follow when choosing the right facility for you and your children.

Research The Childcare Facility

Many parents make a quick decision when placing their children in childcare. Usually price, availability, location and hours are the selling points. Instead of using these guidelines to determine the best facility for your child, research the most important aspects such as: prior mistreatment reports, cleanliness, staff to child ratios, ages of children in the facility, etc. Call the Better Business Bureau to learn if any complaints were filed. Call the childcare facility for their license number and call State Licensing.


Drop In On The Childcare Facility Unexpectedly

Before placing your child in childcare make an unannounced visit to observe the caretakers on a typical day. Observe the children in the facility. Do they appear happy? Are the adults running the facility interacting well with the children? After placing your child in the facility, continue to make unannounced visits to be sure you chose a good facility for your child.


Talk To Other Families About The Childcare Facility

Ask them how their children are doing in childcare and how long they have been attending the childcare facility. Ask if they have any concerns about the staff or the facility in general. Also ask what they like about the facility. If their children are of talking age you can ask them the same questions.


Question The Childcare Facility Staff

Ask to see the staff’s credentials, facility license and CPR and Safety Certification. Ask them about any and all safety procedures. Ask if they have a sign in and sign out procedure and how they handle emergencies.


Observer Your Child While In The Childcare Facility

After placing your child in childcare observe them for any sudden change in their behavior. Some separation issues might be normal but if they are excessive, you might want to check into it. Also notice if your child has any unexplained bruises or is not acting like their normal self. Do not let these warning signs go unnoticed.

Knowing your child is in a safe and nurturing childcare facility can alleviate a lot of anxiety.

Following these five points will go a long way to providing a facility that is safe for your child and relatively stress free for you. My final recommendation when choosing a childcare facility is to trust your instincts. If something does not feel right, do not ignore those feelings. Your instincts may ultimately prove to be wrong, but what if they are right? You will be so glad you followed your instincts if your child and potentially many other children could be saved from a dangerous childcare facility.

Any of these articles by Lisa Dunning, Family Therapist may be re-published in hardcopy (magazines, newsletters or newspapers) or electronic format in websites, ezines or electronic newsletters provided the following resource box is included at the end of the article with a link to the URL

Lisa Dunning is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Specializing in Parent/Child Relationship issues, the author of "Good Parents Bad Parenting: How To Parent Together When Your Parenting Styles Are Worlds Apart" and the host of her own radio show, "Life Support". She provides marriage, divorce and parenting phone sessions to clientele across the United States and Canada and provides expert parenting advice to newspaper & magazine columnists.  To learn more about Lisa Dunning visit her website at

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Copyright 2004, Lisa Dunning, Marriage & Family Therapist - Parent / Child Relationship Specialist.
(How To Choose The Best Childcare Facility Article)