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Child & Education

The Tough Decision

Choosing a childcare provider is one of the most difficult choices a parent is faced with during the early years. Below are some tips to help you through this tough time, a link to the New Brunswick Government’s listing of licensed childcare providers in your area as well as their parent guide. is not responsible for the quality of care provided to children by any of the facilities listed on this site or other sites linked from The content of this site is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement by us. You need to apply your own judgment and due diligence in determining whether a particular childcare program or facility is suitable for your children. View Legal Terms and Disclaimers.

Top Tips:

  1. Don’t procrastinate. Get your name on a waiting list while you’re pregnant! I’m not kidding. I cannot stress this point enough. Most licensed centres only have a handful of infant spots (sometimes as few as 6) and their waiting lists are 1-1.5 years long. Getting your name on the waiting list is vital but also keep in mind that it does not guarantee you a spot. If you’ve already had your baby, don’t put it off. Talk to friends, get references and visit your top three choices. As you approach your return to work date, start calling the centre to see how things are moving on the waiting list. Did I mention don’t procrastinate?
  2. Don’t be shy. Ask a lot of questions, talk with the teacher(s), and observe how they are interacting with the children and the mood of the children.
  3. Do trust your gut feeling about the facility.
  4. Very important to know: When you first drop off your child, 90% of children will cry uncontrollably and have to be peeled off of you. 90% of parents will cry uncontrollably in the car all the way to work.

Once you decide which centres to visit, be prepared with a list of questions. Below is a sample checklist of things to look for when visiting a childcare centre. Visit the OTC’s Organization Station for a printable version of the checklist and note page to take with you.

“Things To Look For” Checklist:

  1. Are staff trained in standard first aid and CPR?
  2. Is there a first-aid kit readily accessible and is it well stocked?
  3. What are the procedures when an injury occurs?
  4. What is the centre’s policy for handling sickness?
  5. Ask about the diapering area sanitation practices and ask to see the area first hand.
  6. Is there an emergency exit plan posted and are fire drills practised regularly?
  7. If a van or bus is used to transport children on outings ask about the vehicle’s safety inspections and maintenance record and the drivers’ driving records.
  8. Do staff have their Early Childhood Education Certificate?
  9. Ask to see a snack and meal menu. Does it follow the Canada Food Guide? How often is the menu rotated? Are items made from scratch or are store bought, pre-packaged, or processed foods used?
  10. Is there a provincial inspection notice posted?
  11. What type of curriculum is followed? Are television and/or movies used?
  12. What is the routine of a typical day and ask to see a schedule of activities/themes for a month.
  13. How are discipline issues handled?
  14. Does the centre allow you to gradually introduce your child to the centre prior to your first day of work beginning with time with you and increasing to a half day without you?
  15. What are the hours of the facility and is there a fine for tardiness?

For more information, check out the New Brunswick Government’s publication A Parent’s Guide to Quality Child Care in New Brunswick. Visit:

The New Brunswick Government has a complete list of licensed childcare providers which includes infant care, preschool, and afterschool care. Visit: