8 Tips for choosing a childcare centre
By Emma Thomas – Full-time mum to an 18-month-old, part-time blogger and writer, with a background as a Kindy Teacher/Director
Choosing a childcare centre is like choosing an extension of your family. It’s a big deal! It’s a good idea to do some research online and then visit a number of centres. Settling your child can sometimes be a challenging process so it’s important that you feel comfortable with the educators and the centre that you are going to leave your child at.
Here are some important things to think about:
The first thing to consider is the ‘vibe’ or the ‘feel’ of the centre. Were you welcomed when you walked in? Is the reception area pleasant? Do the other families seem happy? As humans we are pretty good at making snap judgements and trusting our gut, and choosing a centre is no different. You want to choose a place that you and your child want to visit regularly!
When you are checking out different centres it is good to ask about staffing. There is often a high turnover in early childhood and this can be quite unsettling for children and families. You want to choose a centre that has consistent educators who are there every day, this makes it easier for your child to form relationships and settle quickly.
Environments play a huge role in children’s learning. You want to look for a centre which is well set up, well resourced and presented in an attractive and engaging way. You don’t want a place that looks too ‘perfect’ but you want somewhere that is well cared for. We talk about ‘invitations to play’ not ‘invitations to trash the place’! You can clearly tell when the environments are well cared for by educators and this influences how the children play and interact.
What will your child be doing each day? How do educators plan for and accommodate the needs and interests of children. Is the service influenced by a particular educational philosophy? It is important to know what sort of education and care your child will be receiving.
Communication is critical! How does the centre communicate with families? Are you able to go and visit or contribute to the program? Does the centre send regular emails or updates? How are photos shared and can you add extended family members?
Where is the centre? Do you want something close to home or close to work. Some families find it easiest to choose a centre which is on the daily commute while others want somewhere walking distance to their home.
Cost is a huge factor for families when it comes to considering childcare, prices tend to increase as you move closer to the city centre. Some centres may include meals, nappies and other items in their daily fees. Other centres may have additional costs.
Many centre’s offer extras, these can either be included in the program or at an extra cost to families. Some centres offer external programs such as dance or soccer, while some have bush Kindy, access to a school library or a private chef who runs cooking classes. Centres may offer language lessons or yoga classes!
Once you’ve visited a few centres you will be able to choose one and enrol your child. Having a positive orientation and transition will help your child to settle quickly and develop strong relationships with their educators. We will look at this more in our next blog!
At Arden, we feel every child’s learning journey is important and unique to the child and family. Our highly qualified educators will work with you to develop a plan that will support and nurture your child to meet milestones, and most importantly love coming to Arden Early Learning each day. We know it can be overwhelming transitioning to childcare which is why our educators will work with you to make the transition a positive experience for your child.
Arden’s a hidden treasure conveniently located next door to Norfolk Village State School that is thriving with vegetable gardens, beautiful environments, and nurturing educators. We strive ourselves on making our centre an extension of the child’s home so they feel relaxed, comfortable and happy during their day.
Our places are nearly full for 2021. To secure your place at our beautiful centre please contact Pauline on 07 5546 7300 today.