For many parents, choosing the right childcare centre is a difficult decision. What should you look for, and where can you find great early learning centres?
Fortunately, choosing a childcare centre doesn’t have to be an impossible task. There are many fantastic centres that offer excellent learning programs, inclusive teaching environments, and a range of engaging educational activities that will help to prepare your child for school and beyond.
As you begin your search for the perfect childcare provider, here are a few things to consider.
What kind of childcare are you looking for?
The first step in choosing the right childcare solution for your family is to know what kind of childcare you need. There are many different types of childcares, and they’re all designed to suit different families and dynamics.
If you work weekdays from 9 to 5 and would prefer a centre-based provider, a long daycare program might be the right choice for you. If your work schedule is less strict, occasional or vacation care might be a better choice. If you’d prefer to pursue childcare out of a centre environment, family daycare or a nanny might be your best option. And if your child is at school age, you might be looking for out of school hours care.
What educational philosophy is right for you?
All childcare centres take a unique approach to early childhood education. It’s important to choose a centre whose values and approaches align with your own.
Some centres focus on play-based learning programs, inviting children to play an active role in their own education, contributing their ideas and interests to teaching activities. Other centres are more structured in their educational programming, relying on curriculum-guided intentional teaching activities to introduce children to new skills and concepts.
Decide what kind of educational philosophy is best suited to your child’s personality and learning style and use this choice to narrow down centre options.
What does your chosen centre offer?
Different childcare centres offer different things as part of their enrolment programs. Before enrolling your child at an early learning centre, find out what your chosen centre offers.
Some centres include extracurricular programs in music, sport, art, and foreign languages. Other centres offer dedicated literacy, numeracy, science, and technology activities. Still others deliver school readiness programs.
Additionally, some childcare centres offer nutritious meals prepared onsite by qualified cooks and chefs, while others rely on parents to provide children with healthy snacks and lunches.
Lastly, ask your childcare centre how they document educational programs and share updates with parents. All centres communicate differently and have unique approaches to recording and reporting on children’s academic progress. Ensure that your chosen centre is able to provide you with regular updates.
Where can you find centres near you?
If you’re looking for an early learning centre, MyXplor offers location-specific childcare listing to help. For example, a parent in Fairfield, New South Wales, might visit the MyXplor childcare Fairfield listing to search and find local childcare centres.