Tips on how to choose quality child care in Perth
When it comes to child care, you obviously want your child to be in the best possible hands. The number of children in Perth childcare centres is increasing and whether you choose a formal child care centre, family day care or some kind of in home caregiver, you need to know what to look for and what you should insist upon.
Your child requires a setting where they can grow and thrive, with caregivers who understand their particular needs. Their healthy development will depend on the care they are given. Some of the basics include a schedule that responds to their needs, rather than a pre-prescribed format that is diligently stuck to. Children need appropriate stimulation but also rest time in a quiet environment. They need play time and need to able to communicate with their caregiver. Love and attention are paramount in early child care and it’s important that the relationships they build in a Perth day care centre are secure and comfortable.
So, what are the hallmarks you should look for to establish the childcare in Perth for you? We’ve gathered some tips from mums and childcare experts to give you some guidance.
- Start Looking Early
Begin your search as soon as you can. Finding the right childcare can take time, regardless of what kind of care you are considering. This is something to consider almost even before your baby is born. Depending on where you live, you might need to put your name down on a waiting list as soon as possible.
Learn about the different types of Perth childcare so you can begin thinking about what is the best fit for you.
- Make Some Calls
Start by asking around locally and check which Perth childcare centres are licensed in your area. Your local council should be able to provide a list. Check if there is a particular quality rating in place for your area, and make a point of speaking to people whose children go to the highest rated facilities. Make a list of the ones that you find interesting. Also, this is a good time to check if you are eligible for any financial assistance for your childcare.
- Visit Some Child Care Centres
It is vital to visit the childcare centres in Perth that you are considering. Prepare a list of questions that you plan to ask at each centre and note down what is important to you, along with general indicators that the quality is high. Here are some good things to look out for:
– Group Sizes
How many children are in each group? Are they grouped according to age? Groups should be small and feel more family-like, rather than it seeming like a zoo of children!
– Ratio of Adults to Children
As well as surveying the amount of adults that are present, ask how many children there are for each adult. The less children per adult, the better this is for your child as they will get plenty of attention. This is absolutely imperative for younger children as babies thrive in environments where there are no more than four infants to one adult whereas a five year old can manage with 10 children to one adult.
– Turnover of staff
Ask how long childcare professionals have been at the centre or providing care to children. If everyone seems very new, this may not be a good sign, unless the centre is only newly opened. Check how long caregivers stayed in previous roles, as coming and going can have a detrimental affect on children. It’s best for children to spend at least a year with the same child care professional and if they are constantly getting used to new people, they are wasting time that could be spent learning new things.
Enquire about the staff’s training and education. Degrees in childcare or any special training working with children are preferable, as these childcare providers will know more about ways to improve your child’s development. Does regular training take place at the centre? Are the caregivers involved with any activities that can improve their skills?
Check which Perth day care centres have proper national accreditation. Those that do will have higher standards of care than others.
Take a good look around the potential day care centre whilst you are there. How does the staff interact with the children? Are there caregivers playing on the floor with children, are there any holding children in their laps? Babies need close contact and interaction from early on so it’s important you see warm, loving qualities from the childcare professionals onsite. When you’re visiting a potential site, pay attention to how the staff interacts with the children. Check that the ones dealing with older kids make eye contact and are playful. Those that enjoy their job and truly love children will give your child the best care.
Is the environment stimulating and child-friendly? It seems like it should be a given, but check that all children are engaged in some way. New things need to be introduced to keep children interested and there need to be separate areas for naps and diaper changing.
- Make An Educated Choice
Once you’ve spoken to other mums, professionals and experts and visited a few different places that provide child day care in Perth, you can make a better decision. However, do take the time to review any inspection reports and find out how they are performed locally. Look for any violations that might be of concern to you as a parent. Do contact any references that you were given by childcare providers and ask about their experiences. Think about things like security, health and safety and the potential enjoyment level for your child. Go with your gut, if there’s anything you’re unsure about then it will just cause you stress in the long term, and could affect your child negatively.
- Keep Talking
Once you’ve found the best child day care in Perth to suit you option, the journey isn’t over. Now you are partnering with your child’s caregiver to ensure the best development of your child.
Here are some ways to be involved:
- Speak to the caregiver regularly to find out how your child is coping.
- Volunteer where possible, fixing toys or participating in fundraisers
- Be there for your child’s birthday party.
- Join in special events like field trips so your child can see you interact in this part of their life.
Even if you can’t take time off from work, you can still have a chat at drop-off and pick-up times. Ask the caregiver how things are going and how your child is doing. This demonstrates to the caregiver and child their importance in your life.
For quality childcare in Perth, look no further than Little Peoples Place. Call into any of our centres in Perth to find out more.