Wiggles and Giggles

How to Choose the Right Child Daycare Service

“Daycare” is the term many people still use to refer to out-of-home care for children during the day while their parents are at work. It’s all about creating a place where children can play, learn, socialize, eat and rest. Leaving one’s child at a daycare center can be extremely difficult for parents, especially those who are new parents or have not needed daycare.  

Types of child daycare service 

  • Long daycare 
  • Family daycare or In-Home care 
  • Occasional care 
  • OSHC – Out of School Hours Care 
  • Informal care via family and friends 
  • Nanny services  
  • Business-related creches 

Choosing the right daycare service can be a daunting task. The choice of daycare will be subject to the income of the household as well as the preferences of the parents. All families in Australia have the right to use daycare services and cannot be excluded discriminated against, but families have the right to choose which daycare they will be sending their child to.  

Factors that need to be considered while selecting a daycare facility for children 

Early Childhood Development is critical, and as children spend most of their waking hours in  Daycare, choosing the right daycare for your child becomes extremely important.  

  • Working Hours 

Needless to say, you need a daycare that meets your schedule requirements. The hours that the daycare operates should match your lifestyle and you need to have a good time margin to drop your child off at the daycare and head off to work on time in the morning. Similarly, you should have sufficient time to be able to pick them up from the daycare while being able to avoid heavy traffic and delays. 

  • Area/Location 

The location of the daycare plays a key role in the selection process. Finding the right daycare service nearby makes life a lot easier during busy commutes. Other factors that need to be reviewed are the safety of the area, parking space, condition of sidewalks and walkways, and good lighting. 

  • Meals and Nutrition 

A healthy and nutritious meal is very important as a healthy body leads to a healthy mind. If the daycare provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks parents need to be aware of the menu. They should be able to check the quality standards of the food and the condition of the kitchen. If food is not provided; check to see the recommended meal plan to be brought from home and whether the daycare can heat lunches if required. It should be made sure that the staff is well-trained to deal with unforeseen food allergies. A team consisting of qualified and experienced individuals is a must. 

  • Staff to Child Ratio 

While choosing a daycare, the ratio of individual staff members to children cannot be ignored. Your child will receive maximum attention when fewer children are assigned to each staff member. The efficiency of staff automatically impacts the productivity and learning of children. A positive environment, where children are inspired to explore, learn and grow is essential, and this can happen only when the staff makes the effort to bond with the children and build meaningful relationships so that the children feel secure and can bloom.  

  • High standard of Hygiene and Cleanliness 

The first impression leaves an imprint on the mind forever. Hence parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children are spending quality time in a safe, secure, and clean environment.  

  • Curriculum and Structure 

The time your child spends each day at the daycare center will help to establish a lifetime of enthusiasm for learning. Review the curriculum of the daycare and analyze how will it benefit your child. Make sure that the seven key learning foundations are tailored according to your child’s interests as this will help them in preparing for school. Play-based learning and moving from concrete to abstract has proved to be beneficial for early childhood development. It helps children develop social and emotional skills; motivation to acquire knowledge, STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics), language and numeracy skills, creativity, and curiosity about the world. All these things are an integral part of a successful educational journey.  

“Tell me and I’ll forget, teach me and I’ll remember, involve me and I’ll learn.”  

  • Turnover of Staff 

Children believe in the consistency of relationships. It keeps them at ease; enhances learning and they feel relaxed with an acquainted face. Therefore, high staff turnover hurts the child’s personality by disturbing their schedule and routine. At times children get so emotionally attached to one staff member that they find it difficult to adjust with somebody else. Make sure that you get reviews from other parents before enrolling your child in the daycare. These reviews will help you ascertain whether there is a high turnover or not. 

  • Training, Licensing, Credentials and CCTV Camera 

“The best education does not happen at a desk but rather in everyday living, hands-on exploring in an active relationship with life.” 

Highly educated and experienced staff will provide a high-quality environment to enhance your child’s learning. The entire team should have proper certification and as parents, it’s your right to be aware that someone on the staff has current CPR and first aid training for any unpredicted circumstances. The center should have a proper license supported by the Australian Childcare Alliance or the Government Department of Social Sciences with CCTV cameras installed for constant monitoring of the children.  

  • References  

One of the best ways to choose the right child daycare is by following the recommendations of other parents whose children are currently enrolled in the system. We need to know if they are satisfied with the quality of service and how would they rate the overall experience of their child at the center. Another way is to check for parents’ testimonials on the daycare’s website and go through the feedback posted across its social media. 

  • Costs/Fee structure 

It depends on every individual’s needs and choices. It’s probably the most fundamental factor involved in choosing the right daycare; however, government assistance can help reduce the costs. The amount of childcare subsidy depends on your family income, your occupation, and the type of care you need. 

To sum up, all the above factors need to be examined thoroughly while choosing the right child daycare service in Dural. The process to find such a place that matches the family’s interests and values will be time-taking but, at the end of the day, a daycare where children feel respected, accepted, included, and secured is ideally the best one for them.