Choosing a childcare centre for your toddler is an important decision. At this age, a child is developing and you need to ensure that you can leave your child with someone you trust to care for them. Also, someone who will facilitate learning in their curious mind.
Do your research
This is an important decision, so start asking around. Does anyone else in your community have a childcare centre they cannot stop raving about? Can you find any reviews online? Look up the most reputable locations to help decide what would be the best fit for your child.
What are your needs?
Consider the things you need from a childcare centre. Proximity to your home or work is often important, as is the amenities the centre provides. Don’t forget to look into the centre’s teaching philosophy, and whether it’s a Montessori, High Scope, or a blended model, you should agree with the teaching practices and curriculum.
Questions to ask
Is the centre accredited?
How many students are assigned to each teacher? The lower the teacher-child ratio, the more individualized care you child will receive.
How long do teachers stay at the centre? A high turnover suggests that the teachers aren’t happy, and unhappy teachers can likely lead to unhappy students.
Do you offer extended care?
Are meals provided for my child? It’s important to determine what kind of routine your child should expect with their meals and if they will be eating nutritious food while you aren’t around.
Plan a visit
Visiting the childcare centre is important in order to get a feel for the atmosphere. You should visit with your child to see how they react to the environment and if they feel comfortable there.
Meet the team members. If you don’t feel comfortable around these people before your child enrolls, it will be more difficult to leave your child in their care. The teachers are going to become an influential part of your child’s day, so you want to find teachers that you trust and that will guide your child to become successful.
Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, it may not be a good fit for you or your child.