Questions to ask childcare settings

There are lots of questions you could ask before choosing your childcare setting. Remember, there is no such thing as a silly question!

  • Are the premises clean?
  • Is it welcoming and friendly?
  • Is there a positive atmosphere?
  • Is it secure and safe?
  • Did the practitioners make you and your child feel welcome?
  • Are the practitioners passionate and enthusiastic?
  • Can you see strong bonds between the children and the practitioners?
  • Are there a variety of play experiences and choices for all children?
  • Is the play creative?
  • Are children able to go outside and play safely as part of their day?

It is important that the setting keeps children safe. You may want to ask:

  • Have staff and volunteers been Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checked?
  • Who is their designated safeguarding lead (DSL) and what training have they had? How recent was this training? In some setting, they may be called the named person for child protection, a child protection officer, or safeguarding lead.
  • What safeguarding training have staff had? When was this last undertaken?
  • Can you have a copy of your child protection policy?
  • If your child has Additional Learning Needs (ALN) or a disability, what steps will they take to accommodate your child’s needs?
  • If your child needs help with using the toilet, changing, feeding, or their medication, how will these personal care needs be addressed?
  • How are they securely storing the information they hold on your child? Who has access to it and are they giving it to anyone else?

Settings should be talking to you about safeguarding so that everyone is clear and knows what to expect.

The setting has a legal responsibility to be concerned for the welfare of the child in their care. You should not be surprised if a setting asks you to explain:

  • how your child got the bruise they arrived at the setting with, or
  • why your child does not appear to have suitable clothing for the weather conditions.

If your child has Additional Learning Needs or a disability, you may have more things to consider.