It’s a big decision. A childcare centre is more than four walls. It is a place of learning, discovery, development and fun.
In a sea of so many childcare options, it can be a daunting task to find the right one for your child and your family. One where your values are aligned and you walk away from drop off each morning with confidence that your child is in the best of hands. And one where you can’t wait for pickup time to learn all about the day’s adventures.
Choosing the right childcare centre isn’t an easy decision to make, but we’ve got some tips to help make the process a bit easier.
Take a Centre Tour
Reading a website or looking at social media posts is one thing, but you can’t really get a true sense of a childcare centre until you visit it in person.
The first thing you should do if you are considering a particular childcare centre is to book a tour.
Touring the childcare centre will give you insight into the physical space your child will be spending time. You can see the quality of the facilities and check out things like cleanliness and hygiene.
Importantly, you will also meet some of the people who will be caring for and educating your child. You can observe them interacting with other children and get a sense of who they are and the environment in the centre.
While you are on the tour it is the perfect opportunity to ask any questions you have. You might want to ask things like:
- What are your opening hours?
- What are your fees?
- Do you provide meals? Nappies? Sunscreen?
- What qualifications do your staff have?
- What is your pedagogical methodology and approach to learning?
- How do you communicate with parents?
- How long is the waiting list for a spot?
- What are your core values?
Of course, if you have other questions after the tour, be sure to reach out to find the answers!
Start with the website of the childcare centre, but don’t stop there. Have a look at their social media pages, look at their Google reviews and see what other information you can find out about them online.
The website may give you more information about the curriculum, programs and history of the centre as well as the key people and educators. On the Gowrie NSW website you’ll find details of each of our centres and programs along with information about our history, vision, values, strategy and parent resources.
This type of information on the website shows that the childcare centre is clear on what they offer to you and your child.
Talk to other parents
If you know other parents in the local area who send their children to the childcare centre you are considering for your family, ask them what their experience has been. This may help to uncover things you hadn’t considered and will give you unique insight into what the centre is really like.
If you don’t personally know anyone who has used the centre, try asking in a local parents or community Facebook group. These groups can be a wealth of knowledge and give you multiple perspectives on the centre.
Trust your instinct
At the end of the day, you also have to trust your instinct. Based on all of your research, do you have a good feeling about the childcare centre you are thinking of choosing? Are the educators and staff warm and friendly? Do you feel at ease with the idea of dropping your child off to this childcare centre each morning?
Your instinct or gut feelings will go a long way to choosing the right childcare centre - listen to them in the process!
Choose the right childcare centre with Gowrie NSW
At Gowrie NSW, we have centres across NSW that provide quality early education and care.
We believe that every child brings with them unique strengths, capabilities, culture, interests, knowledge, ideas and experiences……
…and that every day is filled with possibility and chances for discovery.
We are driven to make a lasting impact on the lives of the children in our care. And we do it with care, purpose and integrity, always acting inclusively and authentically.
Book a tour of your local Gowrie NSW Early Education and Care centre to discover the difference we can make to your child.