How to Choose a Daycare

You’ve made the decision. 

You, and all of your child’s grownups (parents, grandparents, and others) are unavailable, by choice or necessity to dedicate to full time childcare. 

Or perhaps you, a family member, or even a nanny or babysitter is caring for your child. Still, you want to give your child the gift of the learning and socialization available in quality daycare centers and preschools.

You are officially daycare shopping. What do you do to decide how to choose a daycare?

You’ll likely be looking at practical considerations, quality, and “right fit for you”. The list below may help you design a list of questions to ask when you call and visit programs. We are so happy to offer this guide to help as you determine how to choose a daycare that is right for your child and family.

Practical Considerations 


  • Do you need full Day, year round care?
  • Do you need a full day program, with hours extending beyond 9-5? Do you need flexibility? For example, do you need care every day of the week, or just certain days? Do you want a morning only program? 
  • Find a Great Location near you. 

Google daycare near me and see what comes up for you. Think about your commuting routine.


  • Is the program within your price range?


  • Does the daycare’s COVID Health and Safety Protocol incorporate both the mandatory and recommended health and safety guidelines for childcare programs in New York State?Do they do so in a playful and non-stressful manner? 

  • Can parents enter and have access to their children at any time with a secure entry system?
  • Are Classrooms and doors protected with video surveillance cameras?  Are monitoring screens positioned in public places so that parents can observe their children without the child knowing?

Are staff trained in CPR, First Aid, and Medication Administration?


  • Are there highly skilled teachers and administrators?
  • Is there an effective curriculum for all divisions (infant, toddler, preschool) which is highly engaging for children, setting the foundations for success in Kindergarten and long term well-being? 
  • Is Professional development provided for teachers?
  • Is nutritious food cooked on site and included or all children in the cost of tuition? 
  • Is exercise a central component of children’s experience including a range of options, both organized by teachers and self-directed child activities?
  • Is Social Emotional Learning woven within the fabric of learning activities?
  • Are the facilities clean, spacious, and highly engaging for children?

“Right Fit” for You

  • Can the school clearly articulate their educational approach, and does it resonate for you? Do you feel enthusiastic about the experiences the program will provide for your child?
  • Is there an active parent community with opportunities for you to connect with the school, and other families, as much or as little as you would like?

We hope you find this guidance of value in your daycare search. If convenient, we invite you to check out Discovery Village. Located on White Plains Road, Discovery Village is very close to home for Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow, Irvington, and Elmsford families. There is easy access to routes 119, 287, 87, and the Saw Mill River Parkway.

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