Childcare centres and early learning facilities are something that has grown in popularity in recent years, partly due to many parents having to work and needing somewhere safe for their children to be until they’re done for the day. Early learning centres also play a huge role in developing young kids before they start their school years.
If you’re looking to enrol your preschool-aged child in a childcare centre, then you’ll want to choose the best option. This article is going to offer some tips on deciding on the right early learning centre for you and your child.
#1 – Is the Centre Open At Convenient Hours?
If the main reason you wish to enrol your child in a daycare centre is due to work commitments, does the facility have opening hours that fit in with your schedule?
Some centres basically follow standard office hours, which may be good enough. Other facilities open very early in the day and close their doors quite late. Before deciding on a centre for your child, make sure the hours are suitable first. If you’re only working part-time, this is probably not an issue, but it might be if you have a full time job.
#2 – Does the Centre Focus On Education?
These days, the majority of childcare facilities will offer at least a rudimentary education program, where children learn the basics of core subjects such as mathematics, science and English.
You’ll want to first check what type of education curriculum the centre has, what’s involved and be confident your child is not just comfortable and safe in the centre, but is also learning education basics while they’re there.
#3 – A School Readiness Program
In addition to the point made above, you might want to enrol your child in an early education centre that offers a school readiness program. This program is all about getting young kids prepared for school. Not only are the basics in education covered, but children are prepared in other ways as well, such as developing their self-confidence, improving their communication skills and learning to socialise effectively with both their peers and adults.
A school readiness program is such a great idea because it means your child will start the school years with a head start, feeling comfortable and confident, rather than being afraid of going to school.
#4 – Visit the Centre In Person First
Never enrol your child in any type of daycare centre without first paying a visit to the place. You’ll want to do this to take in the surroundings first-hand, as well as speak with the staff there. While there, you can take note of the activities the children are involved in, what the vibe is like, whether everyone seems happy and content and whether the place seems safe and secure overall.
As you spend some time there and observe, you’ll start to get a feel for the centre and whether it will be a good fit for you and your young child.
#5 – Does the Centre Provide Nutritious Food Throughout the Day?
This is important as you’ll want to know whether the centre provides food and drinks for children as part of their fees, or whether you have to send your child there with their own food and drinks.
If the centre does provide food, find out what’s on the menu to ascertain that it’s healthy and nutritious. Generally, most centres place a firm focus on healthy eating, so this usually won’t be an issue.
How To Find a Childcare Centre Near You
Possibly the easiest and most convenient way to find a childcare centre near you is to do a search online for your local area. As an example, if you’re living in or near Concord in NSW, you could search terms like:
- Concord child care center
- Concord preschool
- Early learning centres in Concord
- Childcare centres near me
- And so on…
Once you’ve done your search and narrowed down some possibilities, go over their websites thoroughly, then arrange to be able to visit each centre so you can see it first-hand. Take your child with you as well, so they can see the place for themselves.
No matter what the reason is for enrolling your child in a daycare centre, you want to know that it’s the right fit for both your child and yourself and that they’ll be in a happy, safe and educational environment.