As a parent looking for a childcare centre, taking a tour is a great way to get a feel for the facility and observe the educators and children in action. However, sometimes the experience can be overwhelming, especially if you’re bombarded with unfamiliar early education jargon.
Don’t worry; you’re not alone! Early learning and preschool can be a new and foreign world for most parents, and asking the right questions during your visit is essential.
In most cases, you only have one chance to visit a centre before enrolling your child, so it’s important to know what questions to ask to determine whether the centre is the right fit for your family.
This blog will explore the probable questions and factors to note while visiting the facility. This will help you determine the right childcare centre for your child and marks all the boxes in your daycare checklist.
Table of Content:
- Things To Look Out For While Visiting Child Care Centres
- The Surrounding Environment
- Sanitary and Safety Condition of These Spaces And The Overall Centre
- Staff Qualifications and Interactions
- Educational Approach And Curriculum
- Parent Involvement And Communication
- The Typical Day At The Child Care Centre
- Final Words
Things To Look Out For While Visiting Child Care Centres
Here are five factors to look out for when searching for reputed day care centres for your child:
The Surrounding Environment
Check Out The Play Spaces For Children In Each Room:
As a parent, it’s essential to pay attention to the play spaces in each room of a childcare centre. These play environments encourage children to learn and interact. So, they must be set up with purpose.
By asking the educators why they chose to set up a particular play area, you can gain valuable insight into how they cater to the needs and interests of the children in their care. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and observe the play spaces during your visit to ensure that your child will have a safe and engaging learning environment.
Sanitary and Safety Condition of These Spaces And The Overall Centre:
It’s essential to consider your child’s health and safety when choosing a childcare centre. The chances of cross-contamination are very high in places like child care centres. So, it’s worth asking about the centre’s infection control measures.
Additionally, physical safety must also be a top priority in the safety checklist in childcare centres. For example, ensure the facility has a secure keypad or swipe card access.
Ask about the measures in place to prevent security breaches. Furthermore, high educator-to-child ratios are crucial for adequate supervision to prevent accidents. While accidents may still happen, strict ratios can minimize their severity.
Staff Qualifications and Interactions
It is important to consider staff qualifications and experience. National guidelines dictate that at least 50% of staff in a centre must have a diploma level qualification, with all other staff holding a minimum of a Certificate III.
Ensure the centre has a mix of experienced and younger staff, and observe how the educators interact with the children. While qualifications are necessary, empathy and emotional intelligence can’t be measured through qualifications alone.
By considering both qualifications and experience, you can ensure your child is in capable and caring hands.
Educational Approach And Curriculum
Choosing a childcare centre is not just about safety and care; it’s also about providing children with new experiences and opportunities to learn. The centre’s pedagogical methodology will guide this learning, including play-based learning, direct teaching, project-based learning, or a blended approach.
Research suggests that children learn best through play-based experiences, especially in the early years. Therefore, consider the centre’s approach to learning when making your decision. Here are some probable questions you might want to ask the management during the visit:
- What curriculum and play philosophy does the child care centre follow?
- What kind of research has gone behind the creation of the current education model?
- How do you plan to improve the educational quality of your childcare centre?
Parent Involvement And Communication
Clear and effective communication is essential when choosing a childcare centre. Ensure the centre uses both formal and informal ways to communicate with parents.
For example, see if the institution uses apps to keep the parents informed and updated about the child’s progress.
Also, identify who to speak to if you have concerns. Good communication builds strong partnerships between parents and educators, ensuring the best outcomes for your child.
The Typical Day At The Child Care Centre
You may be used to spending every day with your child. So it’s natural to want to know what your child will be doing while you’re apart. Understanding the daily routine of a childcare centre can help you determine if it’s the right fit for your child.
For example, ask about their mealtimes, nap schedule, and screen time policies.
Inquire about regular group activities, and don’t be afraid to ask for details. While each day may be different, a consistent routine provides a structure for your child. In addition, it can help ease the transition into childcare.
Choosing the right childcare centre can be a daunting task for parents. However, by asking the right questions and taking a tour, parents can make an informed decision and find a centre that meets the needs of their child and family.