If the very thought of leaving your baby somewhere while you are at work every day makes you never want to leave home, rest assured you are not alone. But, there are plenty of excellent options for day care out there, especially when it comes to day care.
The Benefits of Day Care
A good program will offer significant benefits for your baby:
- Continuous care
- Licensed and trained staff
- More than one caregiver
How to Choose a Day Care Facility
If you are going to send your child to day care, the best time to start looking is about two months before you go back to work. If you live in a bustling city, you may want to start checking out options before your baby is even born. Here’s how to choose day care centres in Brisbane or in your local area:
Do Your Homework
Get loads of recommendations from the paediatrician, other parents, and anyone else you talk to. Also head online for referrals and to check out reviews.
Screen day care centres over the phone or visit them to ask questions.
Visit the Facility
Speaking of visiting the centre, head over in person so if your desired facility checks off the basics. Always trust your gut: if something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not going to be right for your baby.
- Once you have a few options, ask the facilities the following questions:What is your schedule and cost? The centre should be in line with your own schedule and budget.
- Is there a waiting list to get in? Some facilities have long waiting lists, which is why it is better to start looking as early on as possible
- What accreditation do you have? While a license may not guarantee loads of attention for your little one, it does boost the odds and means that there are strict health and safety standards for the centre to follow.
- How many children do you look after at once? Toddlers and babies require a great deal of attention. Ideally, the centre should have a maximum of six babies or even eight toddlers per group and one member of staff for every three babies or every four toddlers.
- What is your day care philosophy? You should be comfortable with the centre’s policies on discipline, feeding, soothing, and early education.
- What experience and qualifications do staff have? Caregivers should have CPR training as well as First Aid experience at the very least. Ideally, the director will have a degree regarding early childhood education.
- Do parents get involved? Will you be able to participate, and is there a parent board?
- What is your policy on immunizations?
- What are the health requirements for caregivers?
- How do you handle sick kids?
- What do you give kids to eat? Snacks and meals should be nutritious, safe, and age-appropriate.
Finally, when you visit the centre, look out for happy staff and children, a stimulating environment, and separation of age groups, as well as a clean and sanitary setting.
Image credits: Fairfax County – https://flic.kr/p/aBNGLj