Choosing the right childcare centre is important. A great centre can support your child to develop a lifelong love of learning, preparing them for success at school and beyond.
But how do you know which childcare centre is the right choice for your family? Here are 7 things to keep in mind when selecting a childcare centre.
- Childcare needs
The first thing to consider when choosing a childcare centre is your family’s childcare needs and expectations.
Consider the routines that your chosen centre will need to accommodate. Do you work full-time and need full-day care, or will your child only be attending on a part-time basis?
It’s also a good idea to think about the education style that is best suited to your goals for your child’s learning. Are you looking for a standard centre environment or a family daycare provider?
- Teaching philosophy
Different childcare centres have different teaching philosophies, so it’s important to choose a centre whose teaching style aligns with your own beliefs.
Some centres offer play-based learning programs, while others deliver more structured lessons and learning activities.
Ask questions about how children are taught new skills and concepts, and think about how the teaching philosophy at your chosen centre is likely to align with your child’s personality and learning style.
- Curriculum programs
While all good childcare centres offer curriculum-guided teaching programs, some centres offer additional education programs, providing children with focused learning opportunities.
When choosing a childcare centre, ask about the curriculum programs on offer and how these are delivered. Does your chosen centre offer STEM or literacy programs?
Some centres even include music, art, drama, or foreign language programs. These educational offerings vary greatly from centre to centre, so it’s a good idea to find out what’s available ahead of time.
- Centre environment
When you visit a prospective childcare centre, consider the environment around you. Your child’s learning environment will be an important component of their early education journey.
A good childcare centre should have functional indoor environments, where children can participate in learning activities. There should also be plenty of outdoor space, where children can learn about sustainability and the natural environment.
Remember to also consider the centre atmosphere. Are children mostly happy, smiling, and taking part in learning activities? These things are signs of a positive learning environment.
- Learning resources
Your child’s early learning centre should be equipped with high-quality educational toys and resources to support their learning.
When choosing a childcare centre, make sure that your child will have access to a good range of resources. Are toys broken or tired-looking, or are they vibrant and in good condition?
Resources are an important part of teaching, so they should be a key consideration when it comes to choosing a childcare centre.
- Enrolment inclusions
From a practical standpoint, it’s important to know what’s included in your child’s enrolment program.
Some childcare centres provide children with nutritious meals, while others ask parents to provide healthy snacks and lunches.
Ask your prospective centre what is included in your childcare fees and what extras you will need to pay for or provide.
- Educator support
Educators are the most important part of early childhood education, introducing children to a range of new skills and concepts.
When choosing a childcare centre, find out who will be teaching your child, what qualifications they hold, and how they can support children to learn.
Good educators can help your child achieve their academic potential and develop a love of learning.
Still searching for the right childcare centre? MyXplor offers location-specific childcare listings. For example, a parent in Narre Warren might visit the MyXplor child care Narre Warren listing to find local childcare centres.