Monitoring for Your Child

By Vanessa Rasmussen, © 2004, All rights reserved.

Every child deserves enough attention and care from parents as well as child caregivers. As a parent, your responsibility does not end at finding the right child care center for your child. Careful monitoring of your child’s progress as well as the functioning of the child care center is vital. Often, parents have made the mistake of giving due thought to the selection of the child care center only to later ignore the monitoring process.

Here are some guidelines for monitoring your child care:

Daily Guidelines

  • Allow yourself some time to interact with the caregiver whenever you drop off or pick up your children. This will help improve your child’s relationship with the caregiver, while making you comfortable with the center. Do not hesitate in clearing any doubts you may have.
  • If possible, inspect the child care center for a few minutes. Check whether the center is kept clean and hygienic for children.
  • Do not forget to read any messages that may be posted on the notice board. Be well informed of any instructions that might be given.
  • Most importantly, talk with your children about their day after you pick them up.

Weekly Guidelines

  • Once a week spend at least 20 minutes at the child care center to see how your child interacts with other children. You may want to do this without your child’s knowledge as it is natural that your child may refrain from normal behavior if he / she knew you were around.
  • Inquire about the kind of television programs your child watches. Try to find out the activities that are carried out at the center.
  • Inquire about the food intake of your child. Ask whether the child is given proper nutrition and well balanced foods.
  • Find out whether you child plays outside regularly, and how long.

Monthly Guidelines

  • Talk with the Center Director to get an overall view of the operations and current trends of the center. Inquire about any new policies or programs that may have been deployed during the month.
  • Request a family member to pick to observe the center and pick up your child. Ask them about their impression.
  • Spend at least 45 minutes every month at the center to observe one activity or routine. This will give you a much better idea about the functioning of the center.
  • Drop in unexpectedly one or more times during a month. See how your child interacts with the caregiver. Check whether this is consistent with what the caregiver has been telling you.

Even the best child care facilities may have occasional problems while dealing with your child. There are bound to be challenges as your child grows up, however, ensuring that you follow the above mentioned guidelines will help make this process as smooth as possible.

Copyright 2001, 2004. All rights reserved. Any reproduction of this article in whole or in part without written or verbal permission is strictly prohibited. For information about reprinting this article, contact the copyright owner: Vanessa Rasmussen, Ph.D, Starting a Day Care Center,