We Know that Choosing child care can be difficult.  we want to help.



Worrying if your child will be safe, happy and well cared for while in the care of someone else is completely natural!

Below, area few questions we've created to help you gain insight into your child care providers practice and to begin the conversation about
your expectations.


Find a safe child care provider


  •  Child Care Aware Virginia  - Provides a comprehensive, searchable list of highly rated child care centers that are all licensed and certified.
  • Recommendations from close friends and family.
  • "Best Of" lists for your town or region. 


Interview Tips


  • Conduct an in-person interview of your child care provider and ask for a tour of the facility or home. 
  • First meetings/interviews with the provider are almost always scheduled, but make sure to follow up unannounced.
  • Follow up a successful interview with a background check.  Make sure you get the information you need and the caregivers consent while you are interviewing. Some larger childcare facilities will already have run a background check on their employees. Ask to see this information.


Interview Questions


  • Always ask the provider if their home is licensed, unlicensed, or voluntarily registered.  Ask a facility manager if the facility is licensed, voluntarily registered or unlicensed. Voluntarily Registered (VR) and licensed child care will alway have a certificate from VA DSS!  Please note: there is a difference in a child care license and business license!!
  • For larger child care facilities: Do you run a background check on all your employees? May I see this information?
  • How many children are watched by one person at a time?
  • What the other children's attendance schedule and what is the maximum number of children that will be present at one time?
  • Is the provider infant (and child) CPR certified? Ask to see the card.  If yes, they will have card showing their certification date and expiration of certificate date.
  • What does the provider do, when a child is sick?  If they isolate the child, the child must be within sight and sound of the provider at all times.
  • Does the provider have proper sleeping areas for the age of your child? Have them show you where nap time will take place.  Determine for yourself if you think the cribs or playpens are safe for children to sleep in.  Does the provider have one for each child he/she watches?
  • Is the provider familiar with the Back to Sleep Campaign? Back to Sleep encourages placing infants on their backs to sleep to help prevent SIDS.


  • Does the provider have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?  Ask where they are and have them check to make sure they are working while you are there.
  • What's the fire escape plan?
  • Does the facility have any plants within a child's reach?  Are they poisonous if either touched or consumed? 
  • Does the facility have any pets on premises?  Ensure they are up to date on all their vaccines and ask to view a copy of their records from the vet.

Things to look for while you tour the facility


  • Signs of child-proofing: Is the home or child care center properly child proofed?  
  1. Are all cabinets and drawers locked an inaccessible to children?
  2. Does the child care provider have child-proof door knob covers?  
  3. How can he/she ensure your child will not have access to unsafe rooms or opening the front or back door's and exiting the home, without their knowledge?
  4. Are all lamps, bookshelves, and other large furniture secured to ensure they can't fall over?
  • Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Does the provider have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors?

          Ask where they are and have them check to make sure they are working while you are there.

  •  Signs of pets or other animals:Does the child care facility or provider have pets or animals on the premises?

          Ensure all animals are up to date on all their vaccines and ask to view a copy of their records from the vet.