Preschool Site Visit Checklist

After you've done all of your research on preschool programs in your area, making a site visit is one of the last and most critical steps. Here are some ideas of questions to ask and things to observe.


Picking a quality preschool program that’s perfect for your tot can be done in a few easy steps. But now that you’ve done the research and selected a few programs in your area, the last step is to pay a visit to evaluate the program for yourself in person.

When should your child start preschool? How much does it cost? Get the answers to all your top preschool questions.

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So what should you look for when you visit? Are there certain questions to ask when visiting a preschool? You bet. We’ve put together this preschool checklist for parents with information and resources to help you out:

Questions and observations

  • Are there items – pictures, posters, etc. – at the children’s eye level?
  • Are there areas of interest for the kids, like specific science and art exploration areas?
  • Is there a routine? Young children really need routine and repetition. You can ask if there is, but it’s also good to observe. There should be a warning ahead of time when kids transition from activity to activity.
  • Are there “professional development opportunities” for the staff?
  • Do you see the facility’s license?
  • Is the environment clean and safe?
  • Are the adults and children interacting with each other?
  • Are kids bringing food in or is food being served? If being served, does it appear wholesome and nutritious?
  • How are the children being grouped, if there are different age groups in the class?
  • What’s the child-to-adult ratio?
  • Are there nap times? Is there a balance between active and quiet times?
  • Ask if the instructors do assessments of the students and their development.
  • Does the facility have information packets ready for parents?
  • Do they seem organized?
  • When asking the instructors questions, are they defensive or offended by certain questions?
  • What qualifications do the instructors have? Get tips on what to look for in the “Tips For Picking The Perfect Preschool” feature (link to perfect preschool story)
  • When can parents visit?
  • How much do they charge?
  • How does the provider discipline, if they do?
  • Do those working at the facility have up-to-date CPR/first aid training?
  • See if you can talk to other parents about how they and their child like the program and facility.

Get a printable checklist you can fill out before and during your preschool search. Visit this list on Great Start CONNECT. Bonus: The checklist comes in Spanish and a mobile version, too!

This post was originally published in 2013 and has been updated for 2016.

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