Choosing a suitable childcare facility for your kids is one of the most important decisions you’ll make as a parent. Early childhood development is critical, and research shows that the first years of life are essential to brain growth.
A child who receives good care from a trusted caregiver will be more likely to reach their full potential in school and beyond. But how do you know if a particular centre or daycare program is right for your child? Here are some tips to help you make this critical decision:
The growth of Ermington childcare has been steady over the last decade. In 2010, there were four childcare facilities in Ermington. By 2020, that number had grown to 11. The average number of children per facility rose from 20 to 21 between 2015 and 2020.
The number of children cared for outside the home has increased by 27% since 2015. Many parents need more access to such facilities to work or attend school.
Ask for references and talk to the parents.
Ask for references and talk to the parents of already enrolled children. You must get a feel for their day-to-day life at the centre and how the staff interacts with them. When you visit, ask questions about what the centre offers and how it compares to other centres in your area.
Check out their website, Facebook page and Yelp reviews before deciding. While these are less important than talking directly with a parent/child who frequents the facility, they can give you an idea of what sort of quality care you can expect from this particular centre.
If there are any negative reviews online (and there usually are), consider those when deciding whether or not this is right for your child(ren).
Look at the environment of the centre.
Once you’ve narrowed down your list of Ermington childcare facilities, look at the space itself. What does it look like? Is it clean and safe? Are there toys and equipment that are age appropriate? Do you see children who are engaged in activities or playing together? If so, that’s a good sign that the staff is paying attention to what they do. The ratio of caregivers to children should also be considered, especially when deciding between two facilities with similar options but different ratios.
Check out the caregivers and staff.
Ask your child’s caregiver to introduce you to at least one staff member. If they cannot do so, that is a sign that they are not very involved in the centre’s day-to-day operations. The person should be able to answer questions about their background, training and experience with children if you ask them.
It’s also important to ask how long the staff has worked at this facility since turnover can be an issue here! Look for any red flags around turnover rates (over 50% within six months) or training programs the centre offers (do they have any?).
Examine the program offerings and activities
- Check the activities offered. How many different enrichment, educational and social development programs are offered?
- Check the curriculum. What is the structure of the daily program? Does it involve a variety of subjects that complement each other? Most importantly, does it allow children enough time to play and interact with others to develop social skills they will need later in life?
See if the centre is clean and well-kept.
When you visit one, look for signs of cleanliness. For example, if the kitchen is dirty, think twice about choosing that facility. Also, check out the bathroom facilities and make sure they are clean. Look at the toys and equipment in each room to see if they are in good condition. Finally, look at the outdoor play area.
Once you have visited a few such facilities, it will be easy to decide which fits your family and lifestyle. Most importantly, you feel comfortable with the caregivers at the centre and trust them to care for your children while they are away from home.