Before and After School Care

Parent's Role

As a parent of a school age child you'll want to carefully select child care. Use this guide along with the enclosed checklist to evaluate before and after school programs you are considering for your child.

1. Call

... several programs/providers to find out details on cost, hours, programs available, and location.

2. Visit

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

3. Monitor

... the program/provider 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.

4. Evaluate

daily schedule

  • Is the daily schedule posted?

  • Are children free to choose their own activities?

  • Is there time for active, quiet, and outdoor play?

  • Is there a balance between teacher and child directed activities?

  • Are activities fun and challenging?


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

  • Does the provider have experience with children your child's age?

  • Does the staff/provider:

  • Greet the child and parent warmly?
  • Listen, talk, and laugh with each child?

  • Use positive discipline?

  • Give love and attention to each child?

  • Work well with adults?

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


  • Are nutritious snacks provided?
  • Are good health habits encouraged, i.e. hand washing?
  • Is breakfast available in the before-school program?


  • Is the center/home bright and clean?

  • Is the environment stimulating?

  • Is the outdoor play area well maintained?

  • Does this setting provide a variety of areas including one for relaxation, homework, or active play?

  • Do children have the opportunity to work cooperatively and individually on projects?


  • Is large-muscle and sport equipment available?
  • Are there toys, materials, and furniture appropriate for children ages 6-12?
  • Are there a variety of toys and activities?
  • Are toys and equipment well maintained?

social interaction

  • Does the staff talk and listen to the children?

  • Does the staff provide guidance and resources?

  • Are the adults positive role models?

health & safety

  • Are toilets and drinking water easily accessible?

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

  • Are there operable phones on the premises?

  • Are emergency numbers including fire, police, and parents posted by the phone?

  • Is there an evacuation plan for fire, tornado, or emergency posted?

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

  • Are there at least two exits to the outside?

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

  • Is there an updated first aid kit?


The state of Ohio licenses early childhood programs and certain types of family child care providers. The state sets minimum standards for health and safety, staff qualifications, program requirements, 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
Kindergarten - 11 years 18

A family child care provider may care for no more than six children at any one time. No more than three may be under the age of two. These totals must include the provider's own children who are under age six.


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

  • Is the license/certification posted for your review?

  • Is the home provider certified through the County Department of Job and Family Services or participating in the USDA Child and Adult Care Food Program?

  • If the home cares for more than six children, is it licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services?

  • Is the home provider listed with Child Care Connection? Call 330-376-7706 or 1-800-407-KIDS for verification.


Ask for references from each potential program/provider. When you call the references, be sure they seem satisfied with the care. Listen to the tone of voice as well as to the answer to your questions. Ask the reference:

  • Is this program/provider reliable and responsible?

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

  • Would you choose this program again?

  • Did your child enjoy this program?


Review the program's policies.

  • How are the children enrolled?

  • Is there credit or refund for vacation/sick days?

  • Are you comfortable with the discipline policies?

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

  • May the child visit the program before enrolling?

  • Is the program/provider available during school holidays, snow days, and summer vacation?

  • Is transportation available?


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.

ã Child Care Connection
Child Care Connection is a program of Info Line, Inc
474 Grant Street • Akron, OH • 44311
330-376-7706 • 1-800-407-KIDS(5437)



Child Care Connection is funded by United Way and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services



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