This blog is aimed at any parent who is looking for advice about child care and early learning. I do not work in this industry. My name is Keira, and I am just another loving parent who wants the best for her child. When my child was 2 years old, I decided to return to work. This was the beginning of my search for child care. Over the next couple of months, I learnt lots of useful things from other mothers and those who work in the industry. I hope this blog helps you to make the right choice when it comes to child care.
Childcare centres offer many benefits such as helping children prepare for school, developing their social skills, strengthening their immune system, developing their cognitive skills and more. However, not all childcare centres are created equal. When the time arrives that you decide to send your child to childcare, it can be a challenging process to choose the best one. Here are 4 things to consider when choosing a childcare centre:
1. Education and learning
What are the childcare centre's views and approaches towards learning? It is important to ask about the specific learning activities and programs offered by the centre and how they will help develop your child's cognitive and learning abilities. When visiting the centre, it is also useful to notice how the teachers are interacting with the children and if they are providing an interactive environment where children can learn and develop their social skills.
Childcare centres should hold themselves to a high standard of cleanliness. You should figure out how often they clean and sanitise the area, the state of the kitchen and bathrooms, and their protocol for when a child in the centre is sick.
The childcare centre you choose should be located at a convenient location that suits you. Whether it is on the way to work or close to home, make sure it is at a practical distance. This will make life a lot easier for you. It is also preferable if the childcare centre offers flexibility in terms of the days your child is booked in for. For example, if something unexpected occurs and you need to attend to something on a day your child is at home, will the childcare centre be able to accommodate your child?
4. Health and nutrition
Some childcare centres offer lunches and teas so you don't need to worry about packing food. The centre should provide children with balanced and healthy food. If your child has any allergies or special diets, make sure the centre can accommodate their needs.
5. NQF Rating
The NQF rating is a quality rating for childcare centres across Australia. It is based on different areas such as health and safety, staff arrangements, education and more. Make sure you ask the centre about their NFQ rating to help you make a more informed decision.
These are just five considerations that will be useful in helping you choose the best childcare centre for you and your little one. Make sure you do plenty of research into their learning programs, health and hygiene practices, as well as look into their NFQ rating.