We have put together a little guide to help you find the childcare facility that best meets your and your childs needs.
Start by going to our online childcare directory. We have thousands of listings, so you can find the service closest to your needs. Once you have a few centres narrowed down, we recommend that you call them and here are a few questions you can ask:
- What is the adult-to-child ratio?
- What are the qualifications of their staff?
- How many children, and of what age groups, are at the centre?
- What hours is the centre open?
- Is there a waiting list? If so how long?
- How are the parents kept informed of their children’s progress?
- Are different cultures and ethnic groups catered for? How so?
Then, go and visit your preferred centres….
Call and arrange a time to visit, when children are there, and there is a manager/owner available to talk to you. While you are there, have a look around.
- Are the children happy and settled, if not, is someone looking after them?
- Are the available activities interesting?
- Is there an area for outdoor activities with safe equipment?
- Is the centre’s atmosphere colourful, fun and creative?
- Is there good lighting, ventilation and heating?
- Do staff encourage good hygiene practices?
- Is there an area for messy play, a space for book reading, a dress-up area etc?
- What is the sleeping area like and what are the sleeping schedules?
- If necessary, can you store breast milk or formula for feeding?
- Do they cater for special dietary requirements/allergies, and do they administer antibiotics/medicines if necessary?
- What is the routine for meal/snack times and who provides the food?
- What are the hygiene policies in the centre?
- Check the toilets/changing areas
- Do they provide the nappies? (if applicable)
- What first aid training do the staff have?
- What is the protocol in the event of an accident or medical emergency?
- Do you have to pay when children are sick? Or public holidays?
- Is there a discount if two or more children from the same family attend?
- Are there subsidies available?
- How many weeks holiday do we get per year and is there a discount?
These are just a few suggestions, add or remove any you feel necessary, and remember to keep evaluating the centre every now and again, to make sure it is still meeting your demands.
Check out our online childcare directory