Enrolling your child in a childcare centre is an emotional experience. It is natural for your parental instincts to kick in on the thought of leaving your baby in the care of others for most of the day. You might also constantly worry about what your baby is doing and how it will react to changes in the environment and people.
While you cannot help your emotions, we believe that proper research and prep work can make this transition smoother for you and your kid. The first step in this transition is to choose the right daycare centre for your kid.
This article will address most parents’ concerns and what they need to focus on before enrolling their baby in a childcare facility.
Things To Know Before Enrolling Your Child On A Day Care Center
Choosing The Kind Of Childcare Services You Need:
There are five types of childcare available in the market. You must choose the kind that best suits your needs and situation and where your child will thrive the most. Let us explore these options in detail.
Long Day Care Centres:
These childcare centres were established to take care of children between the ages of infancy to 5 years. Long day care centres are known by different names like nurseries, crèches, or just daycare centres.
Regardless of the name, they all provide the same service – childcare within a group setting. These childcare centres can operate either full-time or part-time. However, the routine is set in advance and is longer than other childcare options. Long day care centres usually open as early as 7 am and can close as late as 6 in the evening, making it a perfect option for working parents.
Family Day Care:
This home-based childcare service takes care of kids up to 12 years of age. Given that it is a private and independent service, the routine varies depending on the requirement of the clients. For instance, family-based care centres can be part-time, full-time, or even hour based, depending on the parent’s concerns.
You can also get care providers for rare situations like emergencies or after-school care. Family care workers are independent individuals managed, regulated, and assessed by a local council or family daycare agency.
Kindergartens And Pre-Schools:
This is the oldest and the most well-known form of childcare in Australia. Kindergartens or pre-schools only provide short-duration childcare, mainly during school hours or from 9 am to 3 pm.
Lastly, this is a government-funded childcare service offered to families who cannot afford other childcare services. However, you must meet a few mandatory criteria to get this service. If you have three or more children under school age, have a specially-abled child or parent, or if you are a parent who lives in remote or rural areas and works non-standard shifts, you can apply for this service.
Security And Safety
The primary concern for all parents is the safety and security of their children. Once you have made a list of all your local childcare centres, visit them to asses the safety measures they have taken for the security of the children.
These security measures are not just limited to fences or installing CCTVs. It is also the steps taken to protect the children from injuries they might sustain while playing with each other.
So, when you are visiting the centre, keep a lookout for uncarpeted ramps and stairs, unpadded corners, usage of unsafe toys that can be a choking hazard, and unsecure locks on gates.
Hygiene And Cleanliness Standards
A clean and hygienic childcare centre is crucial for visual appearance and preventing children from falling sick. This factor is all the more critical after the global COVID pandemic.
The immune system of toddlers is still developing, which means that they are more vulnerable to the attack of common bacteria and viruses that a healthy adult can quickly shake off. So, the best way to protect them from common germs and illnesses is to keep the area where they play, learn, eat, and sleep clean.
Early learning centres are the rooms or areas in the daycare centre where the children learn about the various aspects of life. It is also the environment where the first steps of education take place.
In this setting, they discover their interests and actively engage in them. Ensure that these learning environments are well equipped to support your child’s language, cognitive, emotional, and social development.
A range of various extracurricular activities in early learning centres is also a great sign as it promotes overall learning for your kid.
Apart from the abovementioned factors, you must also consider your convenience and fees before choosing the centre. Finding the right care centre for your baby is easier said than done.
But as we mentioned before, preparing for it through detailed research and physical visits will help you and your child transition into the routine of a daycare centre.