For many parents, choosing a childcare centre can be a challenge. What should you look for, and how will you know which centre is right for your family?
As you begin to consider childcare centres, it’s important to think about your child’s educational needs and your goals for your child’s early learning journey.
When searching for the right childcare centre, consider these questions.
What kind of childcare do you need?
Firstly, it’s important to decide what kind of childcare you need. Are you looking for a long daycare program? Or would vacation care or occasional care be better choices for your family? Would you prefer to choose a centre-based childcare provider, or would you like to pursue family daycare?
Knowing what kind of childcare you need will help you narrow down your options and will enable you to clearly consider the benefits childcare can offer your child.
What is your early childhood education philosophy?
Childcare centres offer high-quality educational programs that introduce children to important social, emotional, and academic concepts. While all centres should be guided by the Australian Curriculum, childcare centres are not all the same. Centres each have their own unique teaching philosophies.
It’s important that your parenting beliefs align with the teaching approaches of your chosen centre. Are you looking for a centre with a strong emphasis on play-based learning, or would you prefer a more structured academic curriculum? What kinds of resources and activities do you think would be most beneficial to your child?
By know the answers to these questions, you can choose a centre that shares your approach to early childhood education, helping to provide consistency for your child.
What is included in the enrolment program at your prospective centre?
All centres offer different inclusions in their enrolment programs. When considering a childcare centre, ask what is included and what you will need to provide.
Some centres provide children with nutritious meals prepared onsite by qualified cooks, while others ask parents to provide healthy snacks and lunches. Some centres offer cooking, gardening, and sustainability programs, while others do not.
Some childcare centres provide art, music, sport, or language classes. Others offer school readiness programs or literacy, numeracy, science, and technology learning opportunities.
Knowing what’s included will help you to plan and prepare and can also help you choose between centres.
Is your prospective childcare centre clean, vibrant, and nurturing?
Your child will learn a lot at childcare, so you need to know that your chosen centre is clean, nurturing, and supportive. Take note of the quality of toys and educational resources. Find out whether your prospective centre is clean, bright, and engaging.
Additionally, it’s important that the educators teaching and caring for your child are friendly, compassionate, and enthusiastic. Ask about the qualifications held by educators at your chosen centre, and ask how educators support children as they learn and grow.
If you’re looking for a childcare centre, MyXplor can help, allowing you to search for centres in your suburb. For example, and parent based in Pakenham, Victoria, might visit the MyXplor child care Pakenham listing to find local centres.