When it comes to childcare, every parent wants a high quality environment that is safe, clean, well-managed and nurturing and which offers the family the necessary convenience and flexibility to suit their individual circumstances.
But not all childcare centres are the same and your closest one may not necessarily be the best fit for your child and your family. Your choice of childcare is a major factor in your child’s educational journey and choosing the right centre will set them on a path to better outcomes and success.
So, to help you find the best childcare centre for your child, here are five top priorities which spell out the word CHILD.
C is for CARE
Children need to feel cared for in order to respond positively, so when you leave your child in the care of others, you want absolute certainty that he or she is in the very best hands.
After all, you are entrusting the childcare centre with your most precious possession and so you need to be 100% certain of the level of care they offer.
Do the children at the childcare centre look well cared for? Do the educators interact with them in a kind, fun, helpful and encouraging way? Are they showing compassion to every single child? Does the school environment look cared for? Is it well maintained and properly resourced? Do the children look engaged and happy and in capable, caring hands?
H is for HEALTHY
A key priority is for the childcare centre environment to be healthy and clean. What do the spaces look like? Is there a focus on hygiene? Do they have a healthy nutrition policy?
I is for INSTINCT
Always trust your gut feel. Do the children look settled and happy? Is the place calm or chaotic, friendly or frosty? If there’s anything that doesn’t look or feel quite right, follow your instincts and look elsewhere.
L is for LEARNING
Quality childcare is proven to have substantial benefits for children - both in the short-term and in later life and can instil in them a lifelong love of learning.
When you’re making decisions about a childcare centre, look around to see if the children are having quality learning experiences. What are they doing? What materials and resources are they playing with? Do they look interesting, stimulating and fun? Are the children following their own interests, exploring and discovering? How are the children and the educators interacting? Is it an environment where both child and adult are respected and valued as equals?
D is for DEVELOPMENT
Early childhood is the period of a child’s greatest growth and development and is the blueprint for all their future development and learning. Developing their social and emotional skills in early childhood is crucial which makes your decision about childcare even more important.
Check out the centre’s philosophy. Do they follow a progressive approach to lifelong learning like Reggio Emilia? Does the centre place appropriate emphasis on the child’s development and do parents get regular feedback and communication about how things are progressing? Do the teachers have the appropriate training and experience?
If you’re investigating your childcare options, remember ‘CHILD’. It serves as a reminder of the five important priorities you should keep in mind when looking at various childcare centres and will help you make decisions that will meet your child and your family’s needs.
And if you’re looking for a childcare centre in Fremantle, Bibra Lake or Mandurah, pop in to one of Treasured Tots Early Education centres and see what they have to offer. Treasured Tots Early Education provides high quality child care and ‘home from home’ kindergarten programs for children aged 0-5 years old and they would love to meet you and your child.