Choosing a child care program can be confounding, overwhelming, and even frustrating! People in the early childhood education field are uniquely aware of important things that you may not think about when you are making your decision. The following are 7 categories you should ask about while you are looking for care!
Prompt - Did you get the answers you needed promptly? Did you get a call when promised?
Open door - What is the center’s policy on visits and volunteering?
Finding Me Now has an Open Door guarantee, which means you can peek in the window, visit, or even schedule time to spend in the classroom helping.
Free Day - Does the center have any trial periods?
FMN offers a Free Stay & Play Day which allows your child to come in for a visit or stay for the day.
Tuition - When is it due?
Fees - Are there any other fees like enrollment or supply fees?
FMN does not charge any fee at any time besides tuition. Supplies and field trips are included in the tuition.
Financial Aid - Are there any discounts?
FMN accepts CCDF vouchers, On My Way Pre-K, and has a sliding scale discount based on income.
Safety & Security
Door security - What kind of security is there at the entrance? Some centers have codes, key fobs, or a staff member that will check your ID.
Pickup - Does the center require ID for family members to pick up?
Emergencies - Are there written plans for emergencies like weather and security threats?
Child focused - Children benefit from seeing their own “work” in their classrooms at eye level, displayed proudly to talk about and learn from each other. Do you see the children’s influence in the classroom decor?
Variety - Are there comfy places and places to concentrate? Do they have toys for building and imaginative play? Objects to fuel creativity and analytic thinking?
Cleanliness - The classroom may be messy (the best kind of learning is messy!), but is it clean?
Stocked - Are there enough basic supplies? Is there soap and paper towels at the sink, toilet paper in the bathroom, and enough toys or supplies for everyone to enjoy?
Curriculum - Different curriculum programs have different philosophies.
At FMN we use the award-winning Creative Curriculum which is driven by the interests of the children and encourages exploration.
Assessment - How is the child assessed?
FMN uses Teaching Strategies Gold which allows teachers to assess each child throughout the year through observations and notes.
Parent Teacher relationships - How will you learn about your child’s progress?
At FMN, parent-teacher conferences are held to share the teacher’s assessments, observations, and portfolio with you. You will have the opportunity to talk about your child’s advancement, and how you can help them succeed further at home!
Experience - How much experience does the staff at the center have?
Both new and experienced teachers receive constant ongoing training at FMN to reinforce established skills and learn new methods of teaching.
Professional Development - Does the center provide professional development opportunities?
At FMN, we provide a free professional certification program which allows teachers to earn the credit hours needed to earn their Child Development Associate, the most in demand certification in Early Childhood Education.
Accreditation - Is the center accredited?
All FMN centers are either accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children or actively pursuing accreditation. This is one of the top accreditations in our industry, which demonstrates our commitment to maintaining an exceptional environment in 10 standards including health, curriculum, and leadership.
If your child has special needs, can the center make accommodations?
At FMN we work with parents to make sure that our environment is safe and equipped for every child to learn. Therapists working with children are welcome to come during the day to have their sessions.
So much goes into deciding where you would like your child to spend their days, so we want to help answer any questions you may have! Call us any time at 1-888-777-7312 and choose your closest center to speak to a staff member.