Whether it’s your first or third born, leaving your child in the care of a stranger is never easy on any parent. If you’ve raised kids before, you most probably have a relationship with a reliable crèche already. However, if it’s your firstborn you need to find a crèche for, then this article is for you.
A daycare centre doesn’t need to have anything fancy. A water playground is awesome, but not a top priority. Primarily it needs to be safe and preferably offer an educational benefit to your child. You wouldn’t want your child to go to daycare just for the sake of having supervision. Educational activities are one of the most important aspects of a child’s daily routine. Here’s how you get the best for your child.
Do Your Research Before Deciding
The first step to choosing the right crèche for your child is by doing research. Your neighbourhood most likely has various options to choose from, and there are several factors you need to consider when deciding. Some of these factors are listed below.
A crèche that has been around for a while is doing something right. However, knowing that the caretakers have proper qualifications and medical aid training will put your mind at ease.
Children to Caretaker Ratio
The ratio of occupants to caretakers is important as you need to know that your child will not be neglected. Ensure there are enough caretakers to handle a group of kids of various ages.
The overall maintenance and setup of the building are crucial factors in the decision-making process. Are there several stairs? Anything that poses a threat to your child’s safety should not be overlooked.
Some daycares offer swimming lessons Frankston parents love, and this focus on teaching safety to kids is a great plus!
Although cheap may not always be the best, a crèche that has additional and unnecessary fees, may not be the best option. Compare costs to make sure you can afford it long-term, so you don’t have to look for a new establishment and disrupt your child’s development within a few months.
Is there a waiting list, or can they accommodate your child immediately? Although a waiting list may be a good indicator that you’re making the right choice, you don’t want your child in an overcrowded environment.
Read Reviews & Contact References
Online reviews are another good starting point to know what others have to say about the service provider, how many years they’ve been in operation, and how many children are happy there. Of course, close friends and family will be a more reliable source, but objective feedback is valuable too.
Contactable references are another good way of getting all the information. Any crèche with a good reputation will be willing to provide you with a reference to contact.
Request Their Certification
Similar to references, the certifications or qualifications of the caretakers should be made available upon request. Knowing that the caretakers have had some training will make it easier for you to decide if they’re up to the task, especially if they are young and not parents themselves.
During your first visit, ask them about their training background and the certificates they’ve obtained before or while working at the centre. This will give you a better understanding of their capabilities.
Drop By Unexpectedly
One of the best ways to get a good idea of what your child’s day would be like is to drop by unexpectedly. Any business would like to put its best foot forward to win customers. However, catching them off guard will prove to you that they’re living up to their word.
Do you find things as they promised they’d be? Did the kids get fed on time? Were there any dirty nappies lying around and do you notice other hygiene issues? These are all questions that can easily be answered when they did not expect your arrival.
Ask All Your Questions
During your first appointment with the owner or manager, ask all your questions. Make a list of things you’d want to know prior to your visit. Don’t hesitate to ask all of it, regardless of how long it takes. This will also be a good indicator of how patient they are and how highly they value your concerns as parents.
Most importantly, do not ignore any red flags! If there is anything about the location or setup of the building or the behaviour of the caretakers that makes you feel uncomfortable, go with your gut, and rather keep looking for other options.
Any parent puts the safety of their children first, which can make choosing the right crèche a daunting task. We hope this article has been a helpful guide in helping you find the place that ticks all the boxes.
The most important part is to research and visit several options and revisit the ones you like most. Once you’ve narrowed your choices down, trust your parental instincts and go with the one that makes you feel most at ease.