It is a time that many mothers dread, the day when your child starts to spend time away from the home for the very first time. As a parent, your choice of day care centre is important, as this is a lot more than just a safe place to leave your child while you are working. Your child will spend 6 or 7 hours every day at this place, so you want to make sure the environment is suitable, and if you are about to embark on this, here are some important points to consider when choosing a day care centre.
1. Look for the Right Concept – A successful day care centre will have a sound philosophy about how young people should learn and grow, and your first visit to their website should reveal this. If you happen to be in Western Australia, and are looking for a south Perth child care centre, you should consider Little Peoples Place, a forward thinking institution with many care centres in and around Perth. The environment should be clean and well designed, with safety and hygiene major concerns, and the staff should be friendly and well trained in all aspects of early year development.
2. Parent Participation – A child’s development will be much faster if the parents and the day care centre are both on the same page, so look for an organisation that encourages your involvement. It is important for the parents to be informed of their child’s progress while they are apart, and by working together, minor issues can quickly be resolved. Regular meetings would be held, and parents should always be encouraged to spend some time with their child before leaving, as this strengthens the bond between the care centre, the home, and the child. Spend a little time at the end of each day and ask your child what he or she did that day, as this will be a positive exercise in more ways than one.
3. Happy Children – This is a certain sign that the kids enjoy their time at the centre, so pay attention to the children’s moods if you visit, as a happy child will develop quicker than one who is not comfortable in a specific environment. Prepare a list of questions to ask the care centre staff, and they would have brochures that explain their learning philosophy to the parents. The relationship between daytime carer and parent is especially critical, and a reputable early learning centre would provide the parents with a daily record of their child’s experiences, which would include information about meals, activities, and any behavioural aspects that might need to be discussed. If the parents and carer work together, they can usually address any issue, however, if a parent is unaware of an issue that does not occur at home, they cannot effectively deal with it.