Picking a child care centre for your child involves asking lots of questions and observing. It’s a good idea to begin looking for a facility around six months before you need it. You can use the below list of features to consider before you enrol your child.
An important day care centre feature is reputation. It should be known for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, not to mention its nurturing environment.
2) Ground rules
A good day care centre is one that is flexible. It will allow you to pick up and drop off your children at different times, but it should also have solid regulations for things like handling emergencies and operating hours. The centre must supply you with a copy of its policies so that you know it takes responsibility seriously. Overall, look for a child care Melbourne parents prefer – well-organised and has solid rules in place.
3) Stimulating curriculum
Good centres will offer structured schedules that include time for quiet time, physical activity, group play, meals, snacks, individual activities, and even free time. If videos are included in the curriculum, they should be age-appropriate and educational, such as teaching about cultures or animals. A great feature of any centre is age-appropriate toys that encourage the children’s development and stimulate imaginative play.
4) Caring and qualified educators
- Reputable centres offer trained and qualified caregivers and educators. Employees should be educated with at least a background in early childhood development and CPR certification and any other necessary emergency training. What’s more, caregivers ought to be enthusiastic, responsible, and prepared. The centre and staff should share your viewpoints on discipline, sleep, and feeding, too. There should also be enough staff to ensure your child gets the care and attention he or she needs. For example:
- Children 21 – 36 months old should have a ration of 1:4 for groups of eight children, 1:6 for groups of twelve, and 1:5 for groups of ten children
- Children between the ages of 4 and 5 should have a ratio of 1:8 for groups of 16 children, 1:10 for a group of 20 children, or 1:9 for groups of 18 children.
Centres are not required to follow regulations in this regard, as these are merely recommendations. That’s why it is important to pay the centre a visit and observe the class sizes and ratios to ensure it is acceptable for you and your child. A good centre will keep its groups of children small, no matter how many staff member they have. This helps to encourage development and encouragement.Also look for a day care centre that has good staff benefits. Those facilities that pay their employees well and offer benefits like health insurance, holiday time, and even an education allowance is far more likely to have staff members that will stick around. A low staff turnover is important for ensuring stable and consistent care for your child.
These are just four features you should be looking for before you enrol your child in day care.