The people who run your child's daycare center will be responsible for their care for 40 hours or more each week. You’ll be trusting these people to feed your children, keep them clean, and teach them. These people will become like a second family to your children. So it’s important that you put your children in a daycare that you can trust.

There have been recurring news stories about daycares that leave children unattended for long periods of time. The teachers don't know the names of the children they’re supposed to be caring for. They’ve even locked up the center when there was still a child inside.

If you don't want your child to be the topic of the next news story, you should be able to spot the warning signs of a bad daycare right away.  Here the Top 10:


1. The Daycare Is Unlicensed.

To be sure that you’re taking your child to a healthy, safe, nurturing environment, the daycare should be licensed. To become licensed, the daycare would need to meet certain requirements set by the state.

If you walk into the daycare and don't see a license hanging on the wall, you should ask the director or a teacher to see the center's license. If they don't have one, you should look for another daycare.

Maybe you don't want to ask to see the license in person. If so, you can search your state's official website for a directory of all of the licensed daycare providers. You can also check the National Association for the Education of Young Children to find an accredited childcare provider in your area.


2. There’s High Employee Turnover

It is very important that children have consistency with their caregivers. Kids get attached to their daycare teachers, and they look forward to seeing them every day. If your child is going to a daycare with high employee turnover, you should look into other centers.

Employees will frequently leave a daycare center if:

·         It isn't a good place to work.

·         It doesn't value its employees.

You don’t want your child to be in this kind of environment. Instead, look for a facility that has had the same employees for a long time.


3. There Are Several Complaints Against Them.

Before you start taking your child to a daycare, you should do your homework and read as many reviews about it as you can. You also should ask your friends, family members, and coworkers who they’ve used. If you hear anything bad about a daycare, cross it off your list and move on.


4. The Center Often Exceeds the Mandated Ratio.

Every state has a mandated teacher-to-child ratio that daycares must uphold. If you see many kids with just one staff member, it should be a cause for concern. So you should either start asking questions or find another daycare center.

Before you sign your child up at a particular center, find out how many children and teachers will be in your child’s room. You need to know that there are enough adults in the room to properly care for your children.


5. The Staff Is Underqualified.

A daycare requires more training and experience of its employees than having been babysitters as teenagers.

Each state has certain requirements that all employees must meet. Before you sign your child up at the daycare, you should confirm with the director:

·         That each employee has passed a criminal background check.

·         That they are certified in CPR, first aid, and any other training that’s mandated by the state.

·         How often employees are recertified.


6. There Is No Set Curriculum.


Every daycare facility should have a daily curriculum. Even the children in the room for newborns and infants should have a planned, structured day. Kids of all ages need age-appropriate activities that will stimulate them. If a daycare doesn't provide this type of care, find another center.


7. The Center Doesn't Encourage Unscheduled Visits.

If your daycare doesn't allow you to come to the center and walk around at unscheduled times, you should look into a different daycare. You should be able to drop into your child's daycare at any time of the day and go right into the room. If you can’t, they might have something to hide.


8. There Are No Open Lines of Communication.

If your daycare doesn't give you daily updates about your child's progress and behavior, you should look around for another center. They should let you know how your child's day was.

In fact, many reputable daycares will send children home with daily reports. They include what your child ate that day, the projects they did, and any special accomplishments they made. If your child is still in diapers, the report should also include each time your child's diaper was changed that day.

There are also some daycares that have a live feed. That way, you can check in on your child during the day.


9. The Daycare is Always Dirty.

It’s common for kids to make a mess with their toys or art supplies during the day. However, perhaps you pick up your child in the afternoon, and there’s still cereal on the table from breakfast. If so, you should look into a different daycare.

You don't want your child staying in a room that’s perpetually dirty.


10. You Spot Safety Concerns.


It’s important to choose a daycare that you’re sure is safe for your child. You want to take your child to a center that has security locks and a strongly enforced pickup policy. That way, you’ll know that your child goes home with the person they should be going home with.

You should make sure that the toys are in good shape and aren’t safety hazards. You should also look around for smoke alarms, and there should be emergency plans posted on the walls.



It’s very important for you to be able to trust that your children are in good hands while you’re at work. If you want to be sure that your child is going to the best, safest daycare possible, you should be able to recognize the signs of a bad preschool.