Sending your precious little one to pre-school can be an exciting moment in your life. However, it can also come with anxiety, not to mention that it can be emotionally taxing as well. After all, it will be the first time that you and your child will be away from each other after years of being together at all times.
Fortunately, there is one good way to ease the worry and get that peace of mind that everything is going to be okay—choosing the best long day care centre.
However, with the many child care centres dotting Australia today, how will you know you are enrolling your child at the right one in your area?
Fundamental Steps in Choosing a Day Care Centre
When selecting a daycare centre, it is important to check the quality of its programmes and services. This is because early childhood education should properly set your little one up for formal school. Here are things you can do on your part.
Seek out recommendations from people you trust
Get started by getting referrals from people you trust. When you are looking for a Hillsdon kindergarten, for example, ask some relatives and friends who have enrolled their children at daycare centres in your area. Know how satisfied they are with their services.
Aside from seeking referrals from family and friends, you can also visit reviews sites, use online resources for daycare referral services, or check with your state agency that governs these institutions.
Visit the centres personally
Once you have created a shortlist of the best possible centres in your area, take the time to visit them personally. This will give you the opportunity to check if they have all the basics for quality pre-school education, like a team of happy and caring staff members; a stimulating, clean, and safe learning environment; and security measures inside and around the facility.
When visiting a centre, do it unexpectedly. This way, you will get a truer picture of what they can offer. A centre that does not allow unscheduled visits is not a good option to consider.
Look for a low caregiver-to-children ratio
Typically, a good daycare centre has a low caregiver-to-children ratio. However, this number still depends on the age group your little one belongs to.
For example, a good ratio for toddlers 2 to 3 years old is 1 caregiver for 4 to 6 children. For children 3 to 5 years old, on the other hand, it should be 1 caregiver for 6 to 10 children.
A Holland Park kindergarten with a low caregiver-to-children ratio means that your child will receive the best possible care and education.
Perform a policy check
Find out whether the centre uses exemplary and ethical philosophies when it comes to providing care and enforcing discipline while educating their children. Aside from this, you can also check their policies for important situations, like when a child gets sick or when there is an emergency.
Ask for accreditations
Accreditations reflect the quality offered by a daycare centre. So, when assessing a kindergarten Brisbane has today, try to know what certifications they have, on top of their licence.
Accrediting agencies normally set high standards that go beyond minimum licensing requirements. So, when your chosen centre has one, it means they have achieved a high mark of excellence.
Preparing Your Child for Day Care
Aside from choosing the best long day care centre, you should also ensure you and your child are properly prepared before the big day comes. Here is how you can do it.
- Start introducing a new morning and bedtime routine that fits their schedule for daycare.
- Use pretend plays and activities that simulate a daycare environment.
- Talk about daycare, but listen to the worries that your child may have.
- Encourage independence to help them develop self-help skills.
- Teach your child to share attention.
- Practise drop-offs (you can ask a friend with children of their own to help you out).
- Introduce your child to their caregivers at the centre.
- Avoid over-preparing, as this would rather overwhelm your child.
Taking these steps will go a long way in reducing, or even eliminating, the separation anxiety that you and your child would experience when the first day of school comes.
The transition from being always at each other’s side at home to being separated for several hours a day can be difficult for you and your child. Nonetheless, you can start on the right foot by choosing the best long day care centre for your little one.
As a parent, you would know that something does not feel right. So, trust your instinct. If you think that a centre is not a good option for your child, then feel free to move on with your search.
Under the guidance and nurture of a quality daycare centre, your little one will be properly prepped for formal school. Better yet, it will help them grow up and flourish to become a bright and happy person!
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