What to look for in choosing your child’s day care centre
Finding the right childcare centre can stir up many emotions for parents. As after all, you are leaving the most important person in your life in the hands of strangers. As a parent you don’t have to feel this way, as this can be a very special place to help with the development of children. In this environment children can learn, develop and grow through play while also socialising with others. So it is very important that parents pick the correct childcare service for their children. Before looking for the right childcare centre, you have to decide what you are looking for first; if you want your child looked after for an hour or two or if you are looking to provide early education for them. Here are some tips to help with your decision:
Decide the type of childcare service
There are lots of childcare services that you can choose from. It is important that you decide what type of childcare that is suitable for your family before you start looking. There are many different types of childcare which can include Long day care, occasional care, family day care, nanny service and after school hours.
With busy life schedules and work commitments, it’s important that you pick the right location for your childcare that is convenient for you and your family. Make sure the childcare centre if close to home or work, so that it can fit in with your daily routine, to drop off and pick up your children on time.
If you choose a specific childcare centre, it is very important to plan early to make sure there is availability as in most centres there is a waiting list. Some of these waiting lists can be up to two or three years. So if you leave it until the last minute you many get disappointed! Make sure to register your details with your chosen centre as early as possible.
Childcare costs can be very expensive and can use a huge portion of your income. Consider the cost carefully before to make sure you can afford it. The cost of childcare may vary because of the service you require and also the location. Before enrolling make sure you are happy with the centre and the fee it charges. Also make sure to find out what is included for example whether you need to supply your own food or nappies etc and if they are included in the fee. The government also subsidies childcare; make sure to look into it to ensure you get what you are entitled to. The childcare centre should be able to assist you with this and advise you what steps to take.
Parents are very busy so flexibility is very important in a childcare centre to accommodate work commitments etc. It is an idea to find out if the centre is flexible with the days of childcare you need or have booked. For example are you allowed to change your days or can you book extra days at the last minute if something was to come up with work or your personal life.
All childcare centres must be registered. Make sure to only use a centre that is licensed and registered in your area. You can check this out online.
Cleanliness and happiness
Picking the right childcare centre might seem fairly straightforward but cleanliness is a big factor to take into consideration before doing so. Make sure it is clean and fresh and the hygiene procedures are adhered to. Also the staff must look clean, tidy and presentable. Childcare is supposed to be a happy place for children to grow and learn. It is very important that your child is happy and interacts with other children and staff. Also that the centre is a happy and inviting place in general.