As you will be aware by now, choosing high quality child care for your little one can be an overwhelming process. Click here for valuable information on the types of child care available and how to find the best quality child care.
You might also find it helpful to read our article on comparing the different child care options, so you can be certain the decision you make is the best for your child and the rest of your family.
One of the best ways to make your final decision about which child care centre to use, is to compile a short list of your top two or three centres and then visit them. Visiting your preferred child care centres during normal operating hours will give you great insight in to how the staff interact with the children, how the children interact with each other, and ultimately whether the centre is the right place for your child.
Most child care centres are happy for parents to drop in, so not to feel awkward about visiting and make sure you ask lots of questions.
It is worth spending a little time planning your visit so you gain an accurate idea of how the centre works and how well it meets the needs of your child. The following preparations will help make you make your visit worthwhile:
When you have successfully found a centre, read our article on helping your child adjust to child care to ensure the first day is happy for everyone!
- Print a copy of our Child Care Centre Checklist to take with you. The checklist will be a useful reminder of things to look out for and potential questions to ask.
- Make sure you visit the centre in ‘non-peak hours' i.e. avoid drop off and pick up times. Although most centres allow parents to drop in at anytime, for your first visit it might be worthwhile calling and making an appointment, this will ensure a staff member is available to show you around and answer any questions.
- Pay attention to the interactions between staff and children, take note of the activities the children are doing, check out the environment and the sleeping, playing and eating spaces and most importantly ask lots of questions.