Adjusting to going back to work after having a child generally means you need to choose a childcare centre. Determining a criteria for the right fit for your family will help make this at times confronting choice a lot easier.
The following can be considered a general guide. If your child has particular medical or emotional issues you may need to consider an approach under the advice of a medical professional.
What to ask when you choose a childcare centre
Before you ask, observe.
Take a tour of the childcare centre and watch for the following.
How do the educators interact with the children under their care?
This is of the upmost importance. Are all the children being cared for? Are they engaged in thoughtful, learning-oriented play-based activities? Do the children seem comfortable and happy to go to their educators or are they left to their own devices?
How do the carers interact with each other and with members of administration?
When you choose a childcare centre you want to make sure that there’s great communication and respect between all those who work there. This means that messages are carried through, concerns are followed up on and that the educators will work together positively.
What do the processes look like?
Is the centre secure? What’s the process for signing in and out? How are sick days or extra days recorded or requested? When you choose a childcare centre you’re really looking for a well-oiled machine rather than chaos.
Questions to ask when choosing a childcare centre
Here’s a quick list of some great questions to ask when talking to the potential childcare centre.
• What’s the child to educator ratio?
• What’s the procedure when dealing with communicable illnesses? (Hand, Foot and Mouth and Gastro are the most common)
• What is the procedure when dealing with illness or injury? Will parents be called? Is there an incident report to fill out?
• What are the sun safety policies?
• Will the childcare centre supply food and nappies or are parents to provide their own?
• How do educators communicate with parents? Many childcare centres use an online reporting model where they upload photos and observations of the child at the end of the day.
How to choose a childcare centre
The most important thing to take into consideration is that gut feeling. You’ll know when you’re walking through if this is a place you’ll feel comfortable leaving your child. Trust that parental instinct.
Got any great tips on how to choose a childcare centre? Share in the comments!
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