This is a collaborative post by www.mediabuzzer.net.
Parents should approach day care searching the same way they would undertake job hunting. Be thorough, do your research, and start hunting early. Once you find a potential centre, there are a few steps you will need to take to make sure it’s the right one for you and your child. Below, we look at how you can find the best day care centre.
1. Determine your priorities
The first step is to decide what you want. Do you want a centre that is close to home or closer to work, or somewhere in the middle? Do you want your child to hang out with lots of kids, or just a few?
2. Do your homework
Ask for recommendations for day care in Sydney, since personal references are always the best. You can also talk to a few experts or agencies who can refer you to licensed facilities. The internet is your best friend for research, too. Head on to accreditation websites for guidelines and contact information, or hit the phone book or online Yellow Pages for a list of child care centres in your neighbourhood. If you’re new in your area, these are the best places to begin searching for the best day care centre for your child.
3. Pay a visit to the centre and interview staff
You can certainly ask a couple of preliminary questions over the phone, such as the ages of the children and the centre’s fee structure, but to really get a good sense of what the place is like, you need to physically visit and meet the director and staff. Once you are there, ask the day care centre caregivers and directors, as well as any other staff or parents about everything from the fees and hours to holiday timetables, curriculums, and the facility’s philosophies on childrearing issues such as sleeping, feed, and discipline. Be sure to pick up a schedule of the day’s activities as well as the day care centre’s policies. Pay careful attention to what your gut tells you and how the caregivers and directors handle your questions and concerns.
Picking the perfect day care centre for your child is a highly personal decision. The above tips highlight a few specifics, but, overall, you should look for a safe, clean, and warm environment along with experienced educators who are paid adequately and are passionate and happy about their jobs. Little ones crave consistency and should be able to form strong relationships with staff, so you don’t want to pick a facility with a high staff turnover.
Pay close attention to caregiver to child ratios and how many children there are to a classroom. It’s much easier to give one on one attention when there are fewer children in a group.
Finally, give the day care centre’s numbers a little reality test. For instance, while a 1:3 caregiver to baby ratio may seem grand, it loses its impact if the toddlers are often placed in the baby room, for instance, if an infant caregiver has to help with toddlers and vice versa.