Are you looking to send your kid to a child care centre, but aren’t sure which one to choose?
Child care can be extremely useful for busy parents, and they can provide great learning environments for children. In fact, there are approximately 1.24 million children in child care across Australia.
But, how do you choose the right one to send your child to?
Check out this guide to learn how to choose the best child care centre.
Choosing the right child care centre all starts with gathering a list of recommendations. Luckily, there are a lot of people you can ask.
You can get recommendations from parents (both at work and among friends). You can also ask your pediatrician, parents you meet on the playground or parents you meet at mommy-and-me classes.
We also suggest reading reviews online of centres in your area.
Interview Centres and Ask the Right Questions
Choosing a centre to take care of your kids is a very big deal, which is why it’s very important that you take the time to interview each child care centre. Here are some of the questions you should ask:
- Is there a waiting list for your child care centre?
- What’s the tuition?
- What hours is your centre open?
- What’s your accreditation?
- How many children do you care for at once?
- What qualifications and experience does your centre have?
- What are your policies regarding immunizations?
- What do you serve kids to eat?
- How do you handle sick children?
- How do you screen your staff?
- How do you communicate with parents?
- What will a typical day in your centre look like for my child?
- Can I get a rundown of daily activities?
You should also ask each centre you interview about their child care philosophy. Make sure you’re comfortable with their policies on education, feeding, soothing, and discipline.
Visit the Centre
You should never send your kid to a child care centre without visiting them in person first.
When you’re visiting the centre, make note of how the staff interacts with the children. Ideally, you want to see energetic, alert, and patient staff members who are showing genuine interest in the kids. You also want to look for engaged staff members who aren’t afraid to get down on the floor and interact with kids. You should also check for age-appropriate toys and activities.
You also want to look for a setting that’s clean, healthy, and safe. Gates and doors should be locked, and staff members should have a close eye on children at all times. You should also see caregivers:
- Washing their hands after diaper changes
- Washing feeding utensils
- Properly sanitizing feeding areas, changing areas, bottles, toys, and other objects
Additionally, you want to make sure the centre is doing what they can to make their environment as safe as possible for children. There should be:
- No fluffy bedding in cribs
- No choking hazards (ie small toys)
- Gates on open stairways
- Window guards on open windows
- Smoke detectors
- Clean floors
Lastly, while you can’t expect to see every kid on their best behavior (they’re children, after all!), you should see kids that are engaged and enjoying themselves for the most part.
Are You Ready to Find the Best Child Care Centre?
Now that you know what to look for in the best child care centre in Australia, it’s time to start your search.
If you’re looking for a child care centre in the Sydney area, be sure to contact us to schedule a tour.