Before you know it, it’s time for your precious little one to go to daycare…
Dropping your child off at a daycare is never easy, especially for new parents, but there comes a point where you need to do so. Whether you are heading back to work or you feel as though your toddler needs to start getting more mentally stimulated, you need to choose the perfect daycare centre for your child. Here are a few questions you should consider before deciding on a daycare centre.
Does the centre have a good reputation?
You need to choose a daycare centre that is safe, nurturing and pleasant for your child. Usually, you can ask around about the daycare centre or you can ask the daycare for references from other parents who have sent their children there. If other parents love the centre, you will most likely love it too.
- What is the child-to-teacher/staff ratio?
Obviously, you want to send your child somewhere where they will get enough attention. For younger children, more hands-on staff are needed. Children need constant supervision and lots of attention, so make sure the centre isn’t lacking in teachers and staff.
- Are the teachers and staff well-trained?Make sure your child will be in the hands of qualified, trained staff who are equipped to work with young children as well as handle any emergency, such as resuscitation. All teachers and staff should show love and dedication towards all the children in the centre.
- Is the centre safe?
Does it feel as though just anyone can walk onto the property without permission? All children should be safe within the parameters of the property.
- Are the facilities clean and safe?The centre should follow basic health, safety and hygiene rules, including having a fire alarm and fire extinguisher on the premises and following child-proofing techniques.
- Is the centre registered with the Department of Social Development?By law, if there are 12 or more children up to the age of six going to the daycare, the centre must be registered with the Department of Social Development.
- Will your child receive efficient stimulation and education at the centre?Look out for educational, age-appropriate resources that encourage learning and development. The centres should have books, paint, puzzles, stationery and educational toys. They should also have proper children’s desks and chairs. Ask about the daily activities and programmes that they follow as well to make sure that all children are kept busy and active.
- Is all the outdoor equipment safe for children?Outdoor equipment, such as jungle gyms, slides, sand pits and other toys should be safe to use. Children should also be confined to the premises without any way of accessing outside roads, unsupervised swimming pools and any other potential hazards.