What To Look for in Day Care Centers and Preschools

Here are some important qualities to look for when considering teachers, classrooms, and instruction.

In quality day car centers and preschools teachers:

  • Keeps a well-run, orderly classroom that also encourages children to participate in and enjoy learning
  • Use many creative ways to  help children learn language and learn the knowledge and skills that will help them become readers


In quality day care center and preschools, classrooms have:

  • Lots of books and magazine that children can handle and play with
  • Areas for many different activities, such as art, science, housekeeping, writing, and perhaps computers
  • Plenty of print on labels, signs, and posters
  • Writing materials, including paper, pencils, and crayons, and markers
  • Magnetic letters, or letters made from foam, plastic, wood, or other durable materials so children can pretend write and play


In quality day care center and preschools, teachers:

  • Read aloud to children frequently, from many different kinds of books
  • Talk with children throughout the day and listen carefully to what they say
  • Play games such as “Simon Says” and “Mother May I?” that require children to listen carefully
  • Give children opportunities to build their knowledge be exploring their interests and ideas
  • Help children learn the meanings of new words by naming colors, shapes, animals, familiar objects, and parts of the classroom
  • Teach about the sounds of spoken language by reading aloud books with interesting sounds, chanting, and rhyming; by having children say or sing nursery rhymes and songs: and by playing word games
  • Teach children about print by point out and using the print that is all around them
  • Teach the letters of the alphabet
  • Encourage children to scribble, draw, and try to write