A Five Factor Approach
Choosing childcare is a necessary part of being a parent if you must return to work or if you’re a Stay at Home Mum and just need a break (it happens!). However, do you go with the closest facility to your home or do you go with the one that comes recommended by your friends? How do you know which will not only be a good fit for your child, but the right fit?
Finding the Right Childcare Centre
There are several options for childcare that you can choose from. Childcare centres offers a ‘school like’ setting for your little one while Family Day Cares provide a more ‘home-like’ experience. Whether you are visiting a house or a childcare centre, keep the following five factors in mind.
You want to be sure that you get along with the director of the childcare centre as you will be dealing with her often. Furthermore, you want to be sure that the teachers are qualified, friendly and experienced.
Your child will be spending a lot of time here and thus you want to be sure that there are plenty of safe and clean toys both inside and outside? Some centres will also include a natural outdoor setting with a creek, veggie garden or even birds or guinea pigs to take care of.
A dirty facility, whether it’s the walls, the parking lot or the floor, can be an obvious sign to keep looking.
Happiness of the Other Children:
Do you notice that the other kids appear to be dirty, sick and unhappy? Then this is a sure sign that something isn’t quite right.
Ask what types of activities are scheduled each day of the week. Some childcare facilities will have special guests, such as firemen or zoo keepers. Others will have regular painting, carpentry, reading and water play activities planned. Some even have scheduled outings such as swimming lessons or library visits.
What To Do When Visiting Childcare Centres
It can be easy to get caught up in talking to the director rather than actually watching what is happening in the childcare facility. Find a corner and observe for at least a half an hour:
It can be hard saying goodbye to your little one in the morning but knowing you have made the best decision about your child care can help make the situation must easier for everyone. All kids are going to be a little wary when they are put into childcare for the first time. However, when you are exploring the different facilities your child may show more interest in some centres rather than others. He may seem friendlier with certain teachers and happier to play with certain toys. Observing his reactions to the environment will give you the best indication of where he will be happiest down the road.
Tell us about your childcare experiences?