There comes a time in every parent’s life where they need to start thinking about putting their little ones into child care. It can be daunting and there is a big responsibility to ensure you choose the right pre-school.
The truth is, the pre-school you choose will help your child prepare for their first day of school and get them used to being away from you. Whiz Kidz understand the importance of this and place an emphasis on giving your child the skills needed to navigate school.
Unless you have already had children go through a good pre-school, it can be hard to know which centre is the best option. If you are in this position, here are some top tips for choosing the right early learning centre.
Do your research
This may seem simple, but it is vital. Researching pre-schools and getting an understanding of what you want, or more specifically what you don’t want will make the whole process less scary. There are a range of things you should look into and consider before you even visit prospective centres, such as:
- Opening hours. The first thing you need to do is find a pre-school that fits in with your schedule and working hours. In order to create an organised routine for both you and your child, you need to find an early learning centre that opens before you begin work and closes after you finish. Essentially, you need to find a pre-school that suits your family.
- Size. The size of the centre will play a big part in your decision making; think about your child’s personality and what type of environment that would flourish in.
- Location. You need to make sure that the child care centre is easy to get to- the last thing you want is to struggle to get to your child if they are sick. So, try looking for pre-schools that are close to home, work, or between the two.
Research can only get you so far, which is why you need to visit any early learning centres that you think could be suitable. A tour will give you an indication of how the centre is run and what the environment is like. When you take a tour, pay close attention to:
- Hygiene. The last thing you want is for your child to get sick, so you need to feel confident that the centre is hygienic. As a parent you will know that there is a big difference between messy and dirty; so don’t worry about stray toys. Instead, focus on the cleanliness of areas such as the kitchen.
- Interaction. Remember, you will be paying for the service, so you need to feel sure that the educators are paying attention to the children. Look for educators that are engaged in meaningful activities with the children.
- Menu. Child care centres need to feed the children, and you need to feel comfortable with what they are serving. Take a look at the weekly menu and make sure that it meets your child’s dietary requirements.
It is impossible to get all the information without asking questions, so don’t be afraid to quiz the owners of the pre-school about how they run their establishment. To prevent you from forgetting everything you want to ask, make a list of questions to take with you on your tour.
Rebecca is a writer and an editor at ‘Best in Australia‘ who has written on a range of topics. She is enthusiastic and passionate with an interest in food, health, entertainment and politics. She is the editor responsible for our health section.