Choosing a childcare centre is a huge decision for any parent to make. Entrusting the care, safety and wellbeing of your children to others shouldn’t be undertaken lightly. To ensure you make the best choice for your children and yourself, here are five things to keep in mind when choosing a childcare centre.
1. Accreditation and Quality Standards
All childcare centres must comply with a consistent set of standards across several key areas, including:
- Educational program and practice
- Children’s health and safety
- Physical environment
- Staffing arrangements
- Relationships with children
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
- Leadership and service management.
Make sure that any childcare centre you visit and are considering can discuss and show you how they meet (and preferably exceed) the relevant standards in your area.
You have probably heard from other parents that once you start sending your children to day care, they literally pick up every bug known to science. While this is in part due to children’s immature immune systems, it can also be a reflection of the hygiene standards of childcare centres. This is particularly important during cold and flu season. When taking a look around a centre, it’s not uncommon to see kids with runny noses, and you’ll very quickly realise how germs are so readily spread amongst little ones. Cleaning throughout the day is one form of infection control, but it’s imperative that a thorough clean is undertaken when the centre closes every evening. Ask the staff about this and whether or not they outsource their cleaning to professional contractors who specialise in childcare centres, such as AMC Commercial Cleaning .
3. Friendliness of Staff
This is a major indication of the overall morale of staff, which directly impacts on the care they provide to your children. It’s also really important that staff are friendly and helpful as you will be communicating with them on a daily basis. You want to feel comfortable with them and feel they are being honest with you about what sort of day your child has had. While it’s often hard to ascertain this from a simple centre tour, take the time to talk to the director and ask them about how they communicate with parents and what you can expect if you decide to enrol your child at their centre.
4. Trust Your Gut
Looking at childcare centres can be a bit like viewing real estate; you often just get a gut feel. Trust your intuition and use this as one of your key decision-making tools. If you feel comfortable in a centre, it’s more than likely your child or children will too. If they’re old enough, ask your kids if they like the centre and would like to start going there to play regularly.
Having your childcare close by isn’t just convenient; it can also be important if your child is involved in an accident or becomes unwell. By choosing a centre that is close to your work or home, you will significantly cut down on commuting, earning you precious time to do other important things.
Choosing the right childcare centre can be a stressful decision to make. You dedicate so much time, energy and love into raising your children, so it’s vital to have complete peace of mind when entrusting your little ones into the care of others.