Finding the perfect child care service can be a daunting and stressful experience for any parent or caregiver.For whatever the reason you are choosing child care it is important that you feel 110% right about the service you pick.
Here are some simple tips on how to make the decision easier:
Think about what type of service you are wanting. There are many types of early childhood education facilities, each offering a different service, environment and philosophy. Some to consider are, Kindergartens, Preschools, Home based care, Language Nests, Montessori Centers or a Nanny. (Click on our resource button to learn more about these services)
Choose a time which you know activities and the daily programme will be in full swing such as mid morning. This way you can see how the centre operates at its busiest.
Once there take time to consider every aspect of the place. Is it light, clean, warm and inviting?
Are the children engaged in meaningful activities with age appropriate resources, their peers, or teachers? Are the children/adults calm and happy or does it feel busy and overwhelming?
Think about what you value as a parent. Values important to you could include, religion, discipline, diet, recycling and sustainable living…whatever it is be sure to ask about it… ASK ASK ASK!
Gain the confidence to talk to teachers about how long they have worked there. It is important to know that there isn’t a high staff turn over. Happy teachers = happy children!
Check the ratios of the environment. Some services push the limits of adult to child ratio to cut the cost of employing more staff. (Do a count up in your head if you think it feels to busy)
Try to talk to other parents to get advice, you are all in the same boat!
Do you feel you would like to stay for the morning, day or afternoon? If you don’t then your child probably wont either.
DO NOT RUSH the process! Remember some places have long waiting lists, give yourself time to make the right decision.I hope these tips are of some use.