Questions to Ask Caregivers

Ask Detailed Questions about:

Play dates/Sleep overs

  • Who will be present? Will you be supervising the whole time?
  • Will there be older siblings around?
  • What are the sleeping arrangements?
  • Are there rules around Internet, television and video game use?
  • Are any guns at home accessible to children?
  • Is there a phone available for my child to call me at any time?

Summer Camps/Daycare Providers

  • What kind of abuse prevention training has staff received? Can staff recognize the warning signs that a child may be being victimized?
  • How do they screen employees? (criminal background checks are not enough- most sexual abuse is unreported).
  • Do they check employees against the national sex offender registry?
  • Do they check references and look for holes in employment?
  • Do they conduct in-person interviews that focus on proper boundaries with children?
  • How do they monitor interactions between adults and children? Are there guidelines for when they are allowed to be alone or in close contact? Bathroom policies?
  • Do they have a clear code of conduct regarding acceptable behaviors that is posted?
  • How do they respond to questionable behaviors like risqué jokes, profanity, exchanging personal emails, texts or phone calls.
  • Is there a procedure for bringing up concerns? Who handles this?
  • What is your policy regarding informing parents/guardians if an employee is suspected of sexual or other abuse?
  • Is physical safety a concern? Is it easy for other staff to monitor interactions? (open doors/windows for transparency).
  • Is your organization licensed or accredited?
  • Have there been any allegations of sexual abuse/conduct filed against your employees?

 

Tips:

It’s a good idea to randomly and unexpectedly show up so that caregiver knows you may return at any time and that you are involved in your child’s life.

Remember to discuss your own personal rules with your child so they know what is expected of them and others.

If you want to go deeper, check out Step Up and Speak Out: A Parent’s Guide to Selecting a Youth Serving Organization.