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Child Care Center

Child Care Centers care for infants and children in an organized group setting. Centers provide age-appropriate activities and care on a full- or part-day basis.

Selecting child care can be a difficult task. Therefore, Child Care Connection's goal is to provide education and counseling on how to choose quality care.

Parent's Role


Call several programs to find out details on cost, hours of operation and location.


Visit at least two programs and evaluate them to make the right choice for you and your child.

monitor ...

Monitor the program you have chosen on a daily basis but also drop in unannounced. If you have questions or concerns about the care your child is getting, communicate those concerns to the caregiver or to the director of the program.


  • Are there a variety of objects to stimulate the senses of sight, hearing, and touch?

  • Are toys large enough to avoid being a choking hazard?

  • Are there high chairs with seat belts for the youngest toddlers and child-sized tables and chairs for the older children?

  • Is the equipment adequate, age appropriate, and clean?

  • Are toys and materials easy for children to reach? 


  • Is the center bright and cheerful?

  • Is the center clean?

  • Are electrical outlets covered?

  • Are there gates at stairwells and doorways?

  • Are there smoke detectors and fire extinguishers?

  • Are there at least two exits to the outside?

  • q Are cleaning supplies and other dangerous substances out of reach of children? 

health & safety

  • Is a medical emergency and evacuation plan posted?

  • Is an operable phone on the premises?

  • Is an up-to-date first aid kit available containing items such as:

  • Syrup of Ipecac

    • m Scissors

    • m Sterile gauze and surgical tape

    • m Thermometer (axillary use only)

    • m Bandages

    • m Medicine dropper or spoon

  • Are children's health records complete and on file?

  • Are emergency phone numbers and the parents' emergency numbers posted by the phone?

  • Are fire drills practiced and a list kept with dates and times?

  • Are the guidelines for management of communicable disease posted?

  • Are ill children isolated, supervised, and parents called immediately?



  • Are nutritious meals and snacks provided?

  • Are menus posted?

  • Are meal times relaxed and enjoyable?

  • Is food ever withheld as a punishment?

  • Are individual children's cultural and religious food preferences met, if requested?


  • Does the director of the program have a degree or coursework in early childhood development?

  • Is there enough staff for the number of children in the program?

  • Does the staff:

    • Greet the child and parent warmly?

    • Give lots of love and attention to each child?

    • Work well with other staff members?

    • Participate in on-going, in-service training on issues relating to the care of children?


The State of Ohio Licenses early childhood programs and certain types of family child care home providers. The state sets minimum standards for health and safety, staff qualifications, program requirements, staff ratios, and nutritious meals. The child care licensing law limits the number of children that may be cared for by one staff person.

One person may care for:

Age of Child

No. of Children

6 weeks - 11 months 5
12 months - 17 months 6
18 months - 29 months 7
30 months - 35 months 8
3 years old but not yet 4 12
4 years old through kindergarten 14
Kindergarten - 11 years 18



  • Is the program licensed by the State of Ohio or approved by the State of Ohio Department of Education?

  • Is the license posted for your review?

Ask About...


What are the program's policies?

  • How are children enrolled?

  • Is there a credit for vacations?

  • Is there a refund for sick days?

  • Are you comfortable with the discipline policy?

  • Are there parent meetings, conferences, newsletters, parent nights?

  • Are parents welcome at all times?

  • May the child visit the classroom before enrolling?

  • What is the policy on transportation of children?


Ask for references from each center. Call these references yourself. Be sure they seem satisfied with the provider. Listen to the tone of voice as well as the answers to your questions. Ask questions such as:

  • Is this center reliable and responsible?

  • What did you like the most/least about the center?

  • Would you choose this center again?

  • Did your child like this center?


Child Care Connection does not endorse, rate, recommend or evaluate child care resources, programs, or providers and therefore, Child Care Connection does not assume, warrant, or guarantee quality care. Any information about a caregiver/provider has been provided solely by that caregiver/provider. Child Care Connection believes that consumers are in the best position to evaluate and choose resources appropriate to their child's needs.

Use Child Care Connection's checklist to evaluate the environment of child care centers.


Part of a state-wide network of referral agencies, Child Care Connection serves Mahoning, Medina, Portage, Summit, Stark, and Trumbull Counties in Ohio.

© 2001-2005 Child Care Connection Akron OH  44304. All rights reserved.

Child Care Connection is a program of Info Line, Inc
703 South Main Street # 211 • Akron, OH • 44311
330-376-7706 • 1-800-407-KIDS (5437)

Funded by United Way and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services