Finding a child care centre is one thing.
Finding a child care centre you believe in – is something entirely different.
You can pretty easily secure a place for your child to be watched every day.
You can even locate a centre with friendly caregivers and flexible hours.
But if you want a child care centre you believe in – one that resonates with your values and enhances your child’s development – a little more time and attention is needed.
It’s incredibly important for your child to be in a place that’s healthy for them in mind, body, and spirit, along with one that gives you peace of mind and fits in with your family life.
To find the optimal day care centre for your family, follow these 6 ways to find a child care centre you believe in. We’re here to help you through the process.
1. Figure out what’s important to you
It’s up to each parent and family to decide what’s most important to them when it comes to a child care centre. Without knowing your priorities, you won’t be able to easily seek out a centre that matches your true desires.
Are you looking for a place with ample outdoor space, a calm environment and passionate staff? Or are you more focused on nutrition, interaction with other children, and an emphasis on literacy?
Take some time to consider what’s most important to your family and your child. By knowing what you’re looking for, your search will be much smoother and easier.
After reflection or discussion with your partner, write down 5-10 things that are most important for you in a child care centre. Then rank your top 3-5 elements. This list will give you a complete vision of what’s important to you, with a special focus on the top priorities.
2. Use your resources
Internet: A simple way to find a day care is to search the internet for child care cares in your area. Review the centres’ websites thoroughly to ensure your priorities will be met and that the centre follows a philosophy you believe in.
Other Families: Ask your family and friends for recommendations of child care centres. Chances are they will be honest with you and give you insider information.
But remember, even though a friend may like a centre, it doesn’t mean it’s right for you and your family. Be sure to ask questions and review their website as well.
Utilize Group Connections: If you’re a member of any groups (i.e. through church, your community, or Facebook), ask around for recommendations and references. Do your due diligence by looking at websites and taking a tour of the centre.
3. Ask the right questions
The power of questions goes a long way when you’re researching and determining if a child care centre is right for your family.
Formulate questions as you review their website, talk with other parents or tour a centre.
To make it easy for you, we’ve put together a list of questions you may want to ask. Pick the questions that are important for you, and bring the list to your tour.
Learning Philosophy: Ensure the centre has a quality framework surrounding their learning activities and approaches.
Questions to ask about their learning philosophy include:
- Is there a philosophy your child care centre follows?
- What are the main components of your curriculum?
- How do you alter the learning for each individual child?
- How will your program prepare my child for their school years?
Safety: Have peace of mind knowing that your child is in safe hands.
Check on the child care centre’s safety and security by asking the following questions:
- Is there a secure keypad entry for the centre?
- Are parents able to visit the centre at any time?
- What procedures are in place to ensure the hygiene and cleanliness of the centre?
- What are the emergency protocols of the centre?
Nutrition: The nutrition and activity level of your child will impact their learning and development. Ensuring your child has healthy, well-rounded meals is important to their growth both cognitively and physically.
Questions regarding nutrition:
- What food and drink are served at the centre?
- Who selects the foods?
- How do you handle allergies?
- Do you have sample menus available?
Parent Involvement: You’ll want to know how the centre handles parent involvement, communication and feedback.
A few questions to ask include:
- What opportunities are there for parents to be involved with the centre?
- How do you handle parent feedback and ideas?
- What apps or programs are used so parents can see what’s going on at the centre?
In addition to these categories, you may want to ask other questions regarding daily schedules, outdoor play areas and educators’ experience level.
4. Review the key details
Similar to the important questions you’ll want to ask, be sure to review the key components of areas that are important to you.
These may include:
- Hours and holiday policies
- Educators’ training and background
- Nutrition and movement activities
- How the centre responds to challenges or disagreements
5. Check out parent testimonials
Reviewing the parent testimonials of a child care centre will give you an honest, true picture of what the centre is like for families and children.
You’ll get a well-rounded perspective by reading the insights of different families, including those who have been at the centre for years and those who have just joined.
Take time to consider these testimonials, but remember that in the end, it’s up to you and what you believe is best for your family.
6. Take a tour of the child care centre
The best way to determine if a child care centre is a place you believe in is to book a tour.
During a tour, you’ll be able to:
- See the indoor and outdoor facilities
- Meet the staff
- Ask pertinent questions (like those listed in #2)
- Get an overall feel of the centre
- Check out the resources and books used at the centre
- Learn about what’s included in the fees
- Ensure all of your questions and concerns are answered
If you’d like to take a tour of one of our Petit centres, book a free tour today, and we’ll make sure you see everything and that all of your questions are answered.
The process of finding the best child care centre for your little one – not just any child care centre – will be more than worth your time.
Your child will be part of an environment that’s ideal for their growth and learning, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that they’re at the right place. You’ll feel confident with the centre’s educators and teachers. You will know your child is in trustworthy and competent hands.
If you’d like to see if Petit is a match for what you’re looking for, book a free tour today, and we’ll help you go through all of the important details and decisions.