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Tips to Create a Childcare Survey for Parents

Gathering feedback and insights from your families can improve the quality of your childcare program. Learn tips to conduct an effective childcare survey for parents.

Tips to Create a Childcare Survey for Parents

Tips to Create a Childcare Survey for Parents

Educating children is more than just a job for educators. To be as effective as possible, it also requires community support from parents, guardians, and other family members. Children need help and consistency in the classroom and at home to get the most out of their education. To ensure parental and family involvement, teachers in early childhood education can use a childcare survey to gather feedback, suggestions, and valuable insights from parents to provide quality child care. 

Keep reading to understand more about the goal of a childcare survey, view some examples and sample questions, and learn how to format a survey to get the best results.

The goal of a survey

Administering parent surveys is a great way to forge a productive relationship with children and their families. Creating an open forum for parents and guardians to share their insights and provide feedback helps establish transparency, inclusion, and communication. As an educator, your goals for the survey may vary, but at the end of the day, the objective is to provide children with the best education and environment possible. 

Build quality connections with families and staff by using brightwheel. Streamline communication with the ability to send real-time messages, attach photos and videos, and monitor each child's learning with activity feeds.

Some common goals of a childcare survey for parents are to:

Setting these goals, along with taking the initiative to establish dialogue and collect feedback, helps you connect with each child's family, develop a sense of belonging, and affirm that families are seen and heard. You can use the information collected to enhance program quality, build a curriculum, make lesson plans, and create a classroom setting that enables growth and supports each child and their individuality as much as possible.

Keep family experiences and engagement top of mind when planning the school year. This can be reflected in how you construct the survey, including how it flows, the questions asked, how it's formatted, and how it's distributed. When structuring these surveys, aim to ask roughly 15 to 20 questions to avoid overwhelming parents. Answer formats can vary from a rating scale or multiple choice to free-response or open-ended questions. Personalize and tailor the questions and statements to meet your survey's goals. 

For example, suppose the overall goal of your childcare parent survey is to evaluate your program. In that case, you might ask, "How satisfied are you with the overall quality of this program?" Parents can respond by rating the quality of the program on a scale from one to ten. 

Download our free template for family survey questions!

Examples of parent surveys

Below are a couple examples of childcare parent surveys with various goals, questions, and response formats.

Parent satisfaction surveys 

These survey examples collect feedback on how the center communicates, the quality of care the children are receiving, the progress the children are making, and more.

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Example of childcare survey


Parent survey questions

Here are sample parent survey questions that focus on center operations, staff, program quality, child progress, diversity and inclusion, and more. 

Program quality 

Rating questions (presented as a scale, e.g. 1-10; strongly agree to strongly disagree or multiple choice)
  • On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with the overall quality of this program?
  • The center is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion through enrollment, materials, curriculum, and communication. (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree)

Open-ended questions
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving our program to meet your family's or your child's needs? 
  • What are your top reasons for enrolling your child at our center?

The child's care and development 

Rating questions (scale or multiple choice)
  • On a scale from 1-10, how well does the center meet the individual needs of your child?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how happy is your child at our center?

Open-ended questions
  • What questions do you have about your child's development? 
  • What suggestions do you have for enhancing your child's care and development?


Rating questions (scale or multiple choice)
  • On a scale from 1-10, how well do the activities and materials offered reflect your child's cultural identity? 
  • On a scale from 1-10, how inclusive and multicultural is the center’s curriculum?

Open-ended questions
  • What have been some of your takeaways from your child's growth and development this past year with us? 
  • What suggestions do you have for improving the home-school connection?

Family and teacher partnerships 

Rating questions (scale or multiple choice)
  • On a scale from 1-10, how knowledgeable are your child’s teachers about the best way to support them?
  • On a scale from 1-10, how well-informed are you of your child’s progress and development during parent-teacher conferences?

Open-ended questions
  • What worked well this year in your family-teacher communication? 
  • What's an important takeaway from your partnership with your child's teacher this year? 

Family experience and education 

Rating questions (scale or multiple choice)
  • During parent-teacher conferences, I feel informed about my child’s progress and understand how my child’s development is measured. (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree)
  • I feel supported in my role as a parent/guardian. (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree)

Open-ended questions
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving the family experience at our center (e.g., center events, communication, volunteer opportunities, family/teacher partnership, parent education, etc.)?
  • What center activities and/or parent opportunities (e.g., parent education, volunteering, etc.) have been most meaningful to you? 

Center operations

Rating questions (scale or multiple choice)
  • The center is adequately staffed. (strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree)
  • On a scale from 1-10, how satisfied are you with the center's hours? 

Open-ended questions
  • What is your favorite space at our center?
  • Do you have any suggestions for improving our center operations? 

Survey format

Keep your surveys inclusive and accessible to ensure that every parent can easily complete them. Make them available in different formats, including:

  • Offering online and offline options for parents to complete the survey. You can give them printed versions for completion offline and links to online surveys using platforms such as Google Forms or SurveyMonkey
  • Allowing parents to use the center's devices to complete surveys (e.g., a computer or tablet)
  • Providing surveys in the parent's preferred language when possible

Additionally, inform parents of when the survey becomes available and of the completion deadline so they have ample time to complete it. Consider sending out surveys multiple times a year to increase response rates or try including them in a quarterly newsletter or announcement. A tool like brightwheel's communication feature is an excellent way for families, staff, and administrators to interact with each other and even share surveys via text or newsletters.

Measure and improve center performance with a childcare survey for parents

Collecting family feedback is essential to building a stronger childcare program while also boosting family engagement. Surveys can provide valuable insights into the expectations, concerns, and overall satisfaction of families, enabling you to tailor your programs, communication, and environments to better meet the needs of the children in your care. By valuing and incorporating parent feedback, you can cultivate a collaborative, responsive, and high-quality educational setting that benefits everyone involved.

Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at

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