Quiz your day-care provider

Harriet Brown urges parents to ask these questions:

1. is the center licensed and/or accredited?

Accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children and local licensing agencies are signs of an excellent provider.

2. Is the center nonprofit or for-profit?

The margin of profit in child care is tiny to nonexistent. For-profit centers may cut corners at the child's expense.

3. How long have the teachers been there?

When teachers come and go, children can't bond with them.

4. How many teachers are there per child? How big is each group? Staff-child ratios vary by state.

5. What is the schedule of a typical day for a child in this program? What kinds of projects and activities do they do? Look for a child-oriented, flexible schedule.

6. How do teachers handle discipline issues? In a good center, teachers use positive discipline techniques rather than punishment.

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