The 5 (ish) Most Urgent Questions to Ask Your Daycare, Babysitter or Nanny – Teja Van Wicklen

How do you feel when your child is at daycare or with the babysitter or nanny? Do you feel as safe as you would if she were with you?

Maybe that’s too much to ask. But did you do your due diligence. Do you feel satisfied with the information you have?

Here are some questions you can ask to set your mind at ease. If you don’t feel comfortable asking in person, try composing a simple letter.

1. Safety: Are safety policies in writing and can you have a copy (if you don’t already). Do they describe the management of fires and invasions by a violent person or people? Is there a natural disaster plan? (Check to see if the door locks behind you and check other exits as well. I’ve seen daycare’s where young kids routinely opened the door when it rang!)

2. Active Care: Have you ever suspected that one of the children in your care had been abused or molested? (And then) What did you do?

3. Discipline: What is the facility’s or person’s take on disciplining children? (People who haven’t thought about this may look away or have to think about it.)

4. Emergencies: Have you ever been in an emergency situation? (And then) How did you handle it?

5. Background Checks: Have you heard of and do you use the Department of Justice Guidelines for the Screening of Persons Working with Children (yes, 1998, time they updated it!)? (and then) Do you do thorough background checks of all employees? (And then) Is every employee checked against the list of registered sex offenders? (1 in 3 girls and 1 in 4 boys will be sexually molested by an adult. Roughly 15% of all rapes happen before the age of 12)

If you want to know more about this I highly recommend reading Gavin DeBecker’s book Protecting the Gift.

If you don’t have time to read, try and listen during your gym time or while driving.

You’ll be glad to know you did everything you could.

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