How to choose the right Child Care Centre
Trying to find the right centre for your family can be stressful. You want to feel confident that your child is being cared for properly. The right centre isn't just a convenient babysitter, instead, they will actually help your child develop essential life skills and set them up for success. To make it easier for you, we have put together this essential list with what to look for in a Child Care Centre and the questions you should be asking.
Do you like the staff?
All of your child's caregivers will help shape who they become. So it is important that you get to meet and are happy with your centre's team. Here are some questions to ask and some observations to make:
- Do staff communicate daily with parents about their child’s progress?
- Do children receive individual attention?
- Are staff respectful of children and parents?
- Do staff appear lively, smiling and interacting in a positive manner with children?
- What is the teacher-to-child ratio?
- May I see a copy of your license or other certification?
- Do you have a substitute or back-up care giver?
Will my child be safe?
Above everything else, our children's safety is the most important thing. When visiting a potential centre make sure you look around and speak to the team to find out how safety issues are handled.
- Does the facility appear orderly and clean?
- Are there age-appropriate toys in the classrooms?
- Are hazardous materials locked away?
- Is there an emergency plan and is it posted?
- Are there security measures in place?
- Are all children required to be immunised and does staff have physical examinations?
- Is there a policy for sick children and other circumstances?
Will my child be happy?
The best way to see if a centre is happy place to be is by seeing how the current children are behaving. When you visit be sure to take note of the types of the interactions and the engagement of the children. Here are some questions to ask:
- Do the children have a consistent routine that they can understand and follow?
- Do the children seem occupied and engaged?
- Is there a policy on discipline?
- Do the children seem happy and excited?
- Where do children nap, and how do you help babies to sleep?
Listen to your instincts
No one knows your child better than you. Make sure you take a moment to listen to your instincts. If a centre ticks all the right boxes but doesn't feel right then you may never really have peace of mind.
- Is your initial reaction a positive one?
- Is this a place my child would enjoy?
- Would my child be safe here?
- Would I/we feel comfortable using this program?
- Would my child learn new things every day at this centre?
- May I visit any time?
- May I have a list of parents who have used your care (current and/or former)?
We are here to help
Choosing a centre can seem overwhelming, especially when it is coupled with other big life changes, like returning to work. Happy Hearts wants to make the transition for your family as easy as possible. If you have any questions or need advice please don't hesitate to call or make a booking to tour one of our centres. We can't wait to meet you.