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Questions to ask when visiting childcare providers and childminders

Are you looking for a childcare provider but are not sure what you need to know?  We have compiled an easy list of questions so you know exactly what to take into consideration. You can also download a copy of the below questions from the right hand side of this page, print and take with you.

Questions to ask yourself when visiting a childcare provision

  • Are the children happy?
  • Are they settled and safe?
  • Are the children playing together?
  • Are the staff listening and responding to children?
  • Are the staff friendly and do they look like they are enjoying their work?
  • Do the staff join in with what the children are doing?
  • Is a variety of fun and meaningful activities planned to help children learn and play?
  • Do the staff take into consideration children’s interests?
  • Is there a range of clean and safe toys and equipment for children to use?
  • Are the premises clean, well-kept and safe for children with a fun outside play area (or will children go to parks and other places regularly)?

Additional questions to ask….

  • Are the parents encouraged to say what they want for their children?
  • What will my child eat and drink during the day? Does the childcare provider cater for special diets?
  • Can I see where children play outside and where do they sleep if they need to?
  • How do you encourage good behaviour?
  • What are the fees? Any additional costs? Does the childcare provision offer Free Early Education?

Questions to ask when visiting a childminder

  • Ask to see the child-minder’s Ofsted registration certificate, certificate of insurance and First Aid certificate?
  • Why did you choose to become a child-minder?
  • How long have you been child-minding?
  • What training have you completed? (Ask to see certificates)
  • What different activities do you do with the children throughout the day?
  • Do you take the children to any group activities?
  • What ages are the other children who are regularly cared for at the same time as my child?
  • How does the child-minder manage potty training or taking older children to school?
  • Can I contact other parents whose children you care for or have cared for in advance in order to get references?
  • Are there any other adults around during the hours that minded children are cared for?

Finally, do not be afraid to ask, if there is anything else you would like to know. Good childcare staff should encourage you to ask questions and be willing and happy to answer them.

Watch a video on choosing a childminder

The below film was produced by the National Childminding Association. It is a guide to what parents think about using a registered childminder and information on the services childminders can provide. If you would like to view the full 11 minute version of this film please visit the NCMA website.

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