What Questions Should a Daycare Provider Ask Parents?


When enrolling a new child at a daycare, it might seem like the only important information is about the kid's allergies, behavioral concerns, learning styles and so on, but a childcare questionnaire for parents is also an important tool. 

Using a questionnaire to ask about the parent's needs during enrollment or during discussions with daycare staff can ensure that everyone's needs are being met and make for a smoother transition for the entire family.  

Maybe a parent has a hectic work schedule and needs drop-off and pickup times outside of normal hours. Or maybe they have specific communication preferences, like getting daily updates through email instead of notes sent home in their child's backpack. 

Asking about parents' needs may also reveal any challenges they're facing, such as language barriers or transportation issues, which you can address with resources or accommodations. 

Check out the questions below for a few great ideas for questions to ask about parents’ needs. You can also download our free parent daycare questionnaire if you’re looking for a head start on building your own. 


Download Our Free Editable Templates 


arent Daycare Questionnaire for Parents Screenshot

Download PDF | Download Word Document


General Questions 

Days and Hours 

Sample Question: What days and hours do you need childcare services? 

When enrolling a new child in your daycare, it's important to ask parents about the specific days and hours they need childcare services.  

This ensures that the daycare can properly staff and schedule for those days and hours. You don't want to be caught off guard and potentially not be able to provide the services parents need. This question also helps parents prioritize and plan their schedules, considering days and times they know they will have childcare available.  

Annual Enrollment 

Sample Question: Will your child be enrolled at our daycare facility for the full year? 

As a daycare provider, it's important to know if a parent plans on sending their child for the full year or just for certain days and hours. This helps you determine how many spots need to be available and allows you to plan staffing and schedules accordingly.  

This question also gives you the chance to talk about your payment plans and pricing. If you only offer annual enrollment and charge parents for the full year regardless of attendance, this is the perfect time to bring that up. 

70 Daycare-Forms-Template-CTA


Sample Question: What are your expectations from our daycare facility? 

When enrolling a child at daycare, it's important to ask their parents about their expectations. Asking this kind of question on a daycare questionnaire for parents helps ensure that both the daycare and the parent have similar goals for the child's development. It's also helpful in setting boundaries and avoiding conflicts down the line.  

For example, if a parent has expectations of strict discipline while the daycare follows a more relaxed approach, this could cause issues. On the other hand, finding out that a parent wants to encourage empathy in their child can help you come up with activities to support that goal.  

The bottom line is that clear communication about expectations leads to better outcomes for everyone involved, from the daycare staff, to the parents and most importantly, the children. Use this space to highlight what makes your daycare unique to help satisfy their expectations. 

Duration of Care 

Sample Question: How long does your family plan on needing childcare services? 

This question is similar to asking about annual enrollment. However, what you're trying to get an idea of here is whether the family needs short-term care or if they want you to  care for their child for several years. 

While this might not make a difference in terms of your staffing or planning needs, it's a helpful question. If a family plans to stay for years, you might offer to chat with the parent about getting involved at the daycare facility. Talk to them about volunteer opportunities. 

Or, take the time to talk about your after-school programs that their child can participate in as they grow. 

Experience at Daycare 

Sample Question: Does your family have experience with daycare services at another daycare facility? 

Finally, it's important to ask about the family's previous experience with daycare services. This helps you assess the level of support they may need during the transition process. 

Perhaps they've had a negative experience in the past and may benefit from extra communication and reassurance during their time at your daycare.  

Or maybe they've had positive experiences and can offer helpful insights on how to make the daycare experience successful for their child. 

Overall, taking a moment to inquire about a family's daycare experience helps you provide individualized care for each child and their family. This goes a long way in showing families that you care about their experience with your daycare facility. 


Questions About the Family and Parenting Style 

Daycare can be a daunting prospect for parents. Not only are they entrusting the care of their little ones to strangers, but each daycare center may have very different methods and philosophies when it comes to childcare.  

That's why it's so important to use a daycare questionnaire for parents to ask questions about parenting styles and preferences during the enrollment process. Do they follow childcare trends or are they willing to let you be the experts? 

As parents, do they use cry-it-out methods or do they believe in an immediate response to a child's needs? Is breast milk allowed for bottle-feeding infants or do they require formula? Do they encourage independence and exploration or keep children more closely supervised?  

Asking these questions now can save you some major headaches down the road, ensuring that your daycare approach aligns with their parental values and beliefs. Here are a few great family and parenting style questions to ask as part of a good childcare survey for parents. 

Daycare Preferences 

Sample Question: What did you both enjoy and not enjoy about your previous childcare experience? 

If a child was in daycare before, chances are their parents have some preferences. Naturally, they'd have found things they liked and disliked about the other daycare facility. 

Ask them about this and let them give you open-ended answers. Understanding their preferences helps you meet their needs. If you do something special or different, bring this up to calm their fears or concerns. 

Parenting Style 

Sample Question: What is your parenting style like? 

When you first start to care for someone's child, you must understand their parenting style and preferences.  

Are they loving but firm disciplinarians? Are screen time and snacks flexible in their household? Do they believe in the power of play for learning? 

These might seem like small details, but they can have a huge impact on how smoothly the daycare transition goes for both the child and the daycare staff. Use your daycare questionnaire for parents to ask about their disciplinary preferences, because you don't want to cross any boundaries. 

Likewise, this is a great way to know whether your daycare provides services that align with the parenting style of the child's parents. After all, their child deserves an environment where their unique needs are respected and supported. 

Questions and Concerns 

Sample Question: Do you have any questions or concerns about our daycare facility or daycare managers? 

This might seem obvious, but it's easy to get caught up in the paperwork and logistics of enrollment. Daycare is a big decision for parents. They may have concerns about things like their child's schedule, social development or even the food served at mealtimes.  

Asking about their questions or concerns allows them to bring up any potential issues before their child starts daycare. It also allows you and the daycare staff to address them and create an effective plan for the child's care.  

Additionally, it shows that you value input from parents and are open to communication throughout the daycare experience. 


Questions About the Child's Needs 

When it comes to daycare, every child has their own unique set of needs 

Some may require slightly different snack options due to dietary restrictions. Others may need help with potty training and some might feel more comfortable being read a specific bedtime story before falling asleep.  

Asking parents about their child's individual needs during the daycare enrollment process allows you to provide the best possible care for every one of their little ones.  

That's why you should always include a daycare questionnaire for parents to fill out at enrollment. This should cover everything from allergies to nap time preferences, plus the following helpful questions. 

Child's Personality 

Sample Question: What is your child like? How would you describe their personality? 

When enrolling a child in daycare, it's important to ask about their personality and preferences. Every child is unique, and their caretakers must have an understanding of what makes them tick.  

This information can make all the difference when it comes to guiding their behavior, knowing how they respond to various situations and ensuring they feel comfortable in their new environment.  

If you find that the parent is giving vague answers, try asking these questions: 

  • Is your child shy or outgoing?  
  • Do they like structure or thrive on spontaneity?  
  • What are their strengths and challenges? 

These are all important details for daycare providers to know to give a child the best care possible. 

Child's Interests 

Sample Question: What is your child interested in? What have you noticed gets them excited at home? 

We'd argue that one of the most important questions you can ask during the enrollment process is about a child's interests. Understanding what a child enjoys — whether it's art, music, sports, animals or something else entirely — can make a huge difference in their experience at daycare.  

This information allows you to plan activities and projects that truly engage and inspire the child. This creates a more enriching and fulfilling time spent away from home. 

Child's Dietary Preferences and Restrictions 

Sample Question: Does your child have any dietary preferences or restrictions? 

You need to know whether a child has any dietary restrictions. However, it's helpful to know their preferences as well. 

Each child has unique likes and dislikes when it comes to food, and ignoring those preferences could lead them to feel alienated or left out during mealtimes. Plus, kids are more likely to eat their meals if they're enjoying what's on their plates. 

This helps you cater to the child's needs. More than that, though, it helps reduce stress for you and your team during mealtimes. 

Allergies and Medications 

Sample Question: Does your child have any allergies or take any medications regularly? 

On the daycare questionnaire for parents, it also helps to list any common allergies or medications in the form of a checklist. Make it easy for parents to check any special requirements their child has. 

This information can literally save lives in case of an emergency. Asking about allergies and medications during enrollment allows your daycare staff to plan and prepare accordingly, ensuring the safety and well-being of all children under their care. 

Learning Needs 

Sample Question: Does your child have special learning needs? 

Understanding a child's learning needs and educational strengths and weaknesses is critical. In some cases, it can be the selling point for a parent in deciding to enroll their child at your daycare. 

This information helps your daycare staff create a curriculum that caters to each child's strengths and challenges. If you're willing to be flexible with your curriculum, let the parent know that. 

It also helps with communication between the parents and daycare staff, as they can work together to address any learning issues or special accommodations that may be necessary.  

Immunization History 

Sample Question: Is your child up-to-date on all their shots? Are you willing to provide proof of their immunization history? 

Immunizations don't just protect individual children. They also protect the larger community, especially at places like daycare centers where there's a higher risk of disease transmission. Likewise, many states require certain immunizations for children to attend daycare. 

Asking this question simply lets parents know you will require proof of vaccination and that you're doing so to protect their child, other children and your staff. 

Behavioral Issues 

Sample Question: Does your child have any behavioral issues? Are there any issues we should be aware of? 

This question gives you the chance to have an up-front conversation with parents about any potential behavioral challenges and work together to find solutions that benefit everyone involved.  

Use this information to tailor your daycare questionnaire for parents and develop appropriate behavioral management strategies. Likewise, if you feel your staff isn't qualified to help their child with their learning or behavioral needs, be honest about that. 


Questions About Schedules and Logistics 

While you've likely asked all about the parent's and child's needs by now, it's time to get down to the nitty-gritty that is daycare logistics. 

Asking parents key questions, like what their regular work schedule is or how they plan on dropping off and picking up their child, can prevent any misunderstandings and keep the day running smoothly.  

And don't forget to ask about any special scheduling arrangements or transportation needs that may come up. These could be anything from a last-minute switch in pickup plans to scheduling time for extra activities or appointments.  

Asking these important questions up-front helps everyone involved feel prepared. It also puts everyone on the same page when it comes to scheduling and logistics. Here's what to include on your childcare survey for parents. 

Pickups and Drop Offs 

Sample Question: Who will be responsible for picking up and dropping off your child? 

Maybe they want to drop off by a certain time in the morning, or they want to be texted when their child is ready for pickup. It's important to ask parents about these preferences during the enrollment process so everyone is on the same page.   

By having this information in writing on the daycare questionnaire for parents, you can ensure that only authorized individuals can pick up and drop off each child. In addition, knowing pickup and drop-off preferences allows you to establish reliable routines for both children and parents.  

Parents’ Occupations 

Sample Question: What do you do for a living? What's your work schedule like? 

By understanding the parents' daily routine, you can plan a schedule that accommodates their needs and makes drop-off and pickup as smooth as possible.  

Additionally, parents may have to make sudden schedule changes due to emergencies or last-minute meetings. 

Asking about parents' work schedules also allows you to discuss any flexible learning options you might offer, such as after-school programs or early drop-off. 

Child Safety 

Sample Question: Is there anyone else who should be able to pick up or drop off your child? Are there family safety concerns we should be aware of? 

Unfortunately, when parents are going through a divorce, things can get messy for the child as well. If a couple is going through a custody battle, for example, one parent might only be legally allowed to see the child once a week. 

In cases like these, it's best to only get involved as much as you need to. Without prying, ensure that you're aware of their familial situation so you can entrust the child with the correct parent on the correct days. 

Likewise, this is a great chance for them to add any other permitted contacts to pick up their child. For example, we often see this with grandparents or older siblings. 

Communication Preferences 

Sample Question: How would you prefer we contact you in case of an emergency? How would you prefer to receive regular communications from our daycare facility? 

Some parents may prefer to receive texts or emails about their child's day, while others may prefer to receive a phone call or written note. Likewise, you should use the daycare questionnaire for parents to note who the child's emergency contact is and how they prefer to be contacted. 

Asking about this during the enrollment process helps your daycare staff communicate effectively. It's all about making sure the parents feel comfortable and informed. 

Having a daycare website where parents can easily contact their daycare managers or administration staff online is a great option, too. 


Questions About Policy Acceptance 

When enrolling a new child in your daycare, it's important to have a conversation with the parents about your facility's policies. You want to make sure they are fully aware of and agree with your guidelines for things such as: 

  • Nap times 
  • Snack times 
  • Drop-off and pickup procedures 
  • Discipline techniques 
  • Sick policies 

It's also important to get a sense of whether the parents will comply with these policies.  

After all, it can be frustrating when a parent regularly arrives late to pick up their child or skips out on providing healthy snacks, because it disrupts the daycare routine and can lead to inconsistency in how you handle these situations. 

Sick Policies 

Sample Question: Have you read our sick policy? Are you willing to comply with everything listed in our sick policy? 

As a daycare provider, keeping your little ones and their families healthy is at the top of your priority list. That's why you need to enforce strict sick and fever policies to prevent the spread of illness in your daycare community. 

Asking parents about their stance on your sick policies during daycare enrollment allows you to make educated and informed decisions about who you enroll in your programs.  

Simply asking if they've read the policy is a great way to start a conversation about any doubts they might have as well. 

Payment Policies 

Sample Question: Have you read our payment policy? How would you prefer to pay your daycare fees? 

Again, simply asking this question in your daycare questionnaire for parents opens up the conversation to any doubts or concerns. It’s also a great way to lead into talking about payment in general. Let them know what your fees are, what's included and what their payment options are. 

If you're using a childcare management platform that offers integrated payment processing, billing features and scheduling capabilities, now is the time to introduce them to parents. 

If you can, link to a tutorial on how easy it is to use the platform. In some cases, this could be a big selling point for parents. 

Get 70+ Editable Daycare Templates for Almost Every Situation

Daycare-Forms-Templates-Bottom ImageWe know daycare providers like yourself are busy. That's why we made dozens of templates to help you manage the various aspects of your organization. From billing and invoicing to marketing materials, we have it all. Download all 70 today!

Get All Templates for Free!


Related Posts

Related Posts