Consider where the childcare centre is located.
Location is critical when selecting a childcare centre. If the facility is close to your house, this will make drop-offs and pick-ups easiest. Some people also like to work with a childcare facility that is on their route to work.
Be sure to visit the childcare centre in person.
To get a true perspective of the nature of your childcare centre, you should aim to visit and view the centre in the middle of the day. This will allow you to see how the carers are acting around the children and ensure the setting will meet your child’s needs. Most childcare centres will be happy for you to visit and have a tour of the centre while it is in operation – just inform the centre in advance of your visit.
Financial matters do matter.
For many families, financial circumstances can have an enormous influence on their choice of childcare centre. Always confirm hourly or daily rates with your centre to understand whether it is within you budget.
Know when your child will be welcome until.
Some centres have no age restrictions, whereas others are limited to specific age brackets. At St John’s Community Care, our childcare centres can cater for children 6 months – preschool age.
Start researching childcare centres when (or before) your child is born.
With many families requiring childcare services, there can sometimes be long waiting lists and limited availability to get into popular centres. To have the greatest range of childcare centres to choose from, start researching early.
Learn about the childcare centre’s education programs and philosophy.
If your child is going to be spending extended periods of time in the centre, it’s important that the values and intentions of the carers match yours.
Aim for the greatest flexibility and longest opening hours.
For busy parents, flexibility is crucial. The best childcare centres in Queensland will accommodate unexpected emergencies, last minute arrangements and work commitments that run over time. You should ask your childcare centre whether they will accept flexibility in days of care, if there are any penalty fees for changing schedules, and the process for altering booked days and times.
Understand the meal options available to your child.
Every childcare centre is different. Some ask that your child brings their own lunch, while others provide a lunch. To ensure you know every detail, query the food situation before you commit to a centre.
Investigate the facilities available to your child.
The best childcare centres will have indoor and outdoor areas, plenty of toys, recreational equipment, education tools and ample facilities for exploration, play and socialising. Facilities in a childcare centre should always be clean and safe.
Follow your instincts.
Once you have done every possible inch of research and gathered all the important facts, your final decision needs to be made. As the parent, you know what’s best for your child, so follow your gut feelings and make the choice that seems right to you.