04 May Choosing A Childcare Centre
We know choosing the right childcare centre is not easy. That’s why we have compiled this blog to assist families.
For many parents, choosing the right childcare centre stirs up a range of emotions. After all, you are leaving the most precious person in your life in someone else’s care. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Childcare can be a special place that nurtures and enhances the development of children. It can be an environment for learning, development and growth through play and socialisation with others. A home away from home, so picking the right childcare service forms an important part of parents’ lives.
That’s why it’s so important to have as much information as possible before you speak to any childcare centre about enrolling your child, with many factors to consider.
- Where is the best location to suit your work, home and lifestyle?
- What specific principles of childcare do you value?
- How many days a week will you need childcare, and what hours are the different centres open?
- How accommodating and flexible is the childcare centre?
- What educational program and extracurricular activities are offered?
- What qualifications and experience do the educators have?
To help you choose the very best centre for your child, keep the following essential items in mind.
What to look for when choosing childcare – 11 important points to consider
When it comes time to pick the perfect childcare centre, it’s often helpful to have a quick list of important details you can revisit as you research different childcare providers. To help with this task, here are our top things to look for when choosing childcare:
1. Consider the environment — A great childcare centre will have amazing outdoor and indoor areas, the space will be clean, safe, and well-resourced. When you’re visiting the centre in person, look around to see what activities and resources are available for your child and how the educators teach and enable children to use those resources.
2. They keep you updated — Whether it’s a phone call about a recent behaviour change or a daily notice of how your kid did, a great childcare centre will keep you informed and updated of your child’s progress. At Little Kingdom Childcare, we undertake parent teacher meetings twice yearly providing you with detailed updates about your child’s progress. We also provide daily updates on what activities your child undertook via the Storypark app, what your child ate, how long they slept, etc. You will love being able to see photos of your child learning and playing with their friends at childcare.
3. Listen to other parents —Good childcare centres will often have a reputation that precedes them. Viewing online reviews and asking existing parents about their experiences can quickly provide an insight into how good a childcare centre is. While choosing childcare is a matter of personal preference, parenting style, and your child’s personality, a ‘litmus test’ from other parents can help you get a quick and accurate impression of a centre. Little Kingdom’s reviews can be viewed at Google Reviews and Facebook Reviews.
4. Good communication between staff and parents — Parents worry about their kids– that’s a given. You should be able to address any concerns you have with a staff member and have them promptly addressed and resolved. The educators and Director at Little Kingdom Childcare are always available to chat and maintain great relationships with the parents.
5. Open-door policy — You should be able to stop by any time you want (within reason) to check up on your child. (Obviously, if you are dropping in every day just to say hi and causing your child to tantrum when you leave…maybe that’s not the best idea!) If you work in a nearby building to where your child attends childcare, you’ll be able to visit your child frequently and attend special events throughout the year.
6. Think about your child’s needs — What your child needs and wants are distinct. It is useful to look into whether a centre can cater to their needs. If your child has a disability, allergies or a particular sensitivity, consider how they will find the setting. Ask questions and discuss details with the Centre Director and staff to ensure that the childcare centre you choose provides the optimal environment for your child’s needs.
7. Learn about the staff’s qualifications and the curriculum — Make sure your chosen childcare centre has a robust curriculum, well-documented accreditation for their team, and a clearly defined set of educational goals. This will ensure your child can develop at a rate that best supports their future learning.
8. National Quality Standards (NQS) Rating — Each centre is rated against a set of standards known as the National Quality Standards and it is a requirement that the rating is displayed publicly. It is a vigorous assessment process that rates each service across seven (7) quality areas, all specifically developed to act as a benchmark for quality education and care of services. We recommend that you check the childcare centre’s rating by asking the centre directly, or alternatively, check the ACECQA website.
9. The childcare centre’s values and culture — make sure that the stated values and general culture at the childcare centre align with your values. This also extends to the staff’s behaviour and attitude, which should also be in line with stipulated goals and culture.
10. Don’t be afraid to trust your gut — Sometimes, intuition is the best tool we have. If something doesn’t seem right, your child is unhappy beyond normal tantrums, teething, separation issues, or there’s something that strikes you as odd, don’t be afraid to look for another option. On the other hand, if things just seem to ‘click’ and the centre seems like a good fit, it’s probably a good sign the centre will be an excellent place for your child.
11. Your child is thriving there — What’s that expression – “the proof is in the pudding?” If your child is learning new things, having fun, being creative, and growing more independent, then you have found a good child care centre.
Still feeling lost when it comes to choosing a childcare centre? Check out our tips for spotting good quality care, our advice for parents during COVID-19, or find out more about Little Kingdom Childcare centre, our beliefs and our values.
The Little Kingdom Promise To You
- We promise you will feel completely confident and reassured when you leave your child with us.
- We promise you will know that we value your child as a unique individual to be loved, nurtured, educated and respected at all times.
- We promise you will know that committed, dedicated educators are caring for your child.
- How accommodating and flexible is the childcare centre?
- We promise you will watch your child develop a love of learning and a rich imagination.
- We promise you will see your child develop strong bonds with our educators and other children.
- We promise you will share in the joy of your child’s experiences in our center through regular communication.
- We promise you will be treated as an important member of our family.
- We promise you can expect us to listen carefully and respond quickly to any questions or concerns.
- We promise you will know that it is our privilege to serve your family.