Early childhood education is an important part of your child’s development and there are thousands of child care centres to choose from. Each facility offers its own unique features and it will be up to you to decide which is the best fit for your child.
Many people are looking for quality facilities for their children to attend before school. Some parents work, others need time to themselves and some realise that they can’t match the education their child would receive in a quality centre, so they include early childhood education in the mix of their family experiences. It’s an excellent preparation for school and helps transition children from staying at home with mum every day to sharing their time between school and home.
Quality child care centres don’t just look after your children. Staff members are trained in early childhood education, so your children will receive expert tuition in an informal way as they go about their play activities at the centre. Each town and city has many early childhood facilities, so it can be hard to choose the best place for your child’s learning. One way to decide on an early childhood centre for your child is to ask friends who live in your area which centre they recommend. Word of mouth is always a good indicator. It’s a great idea to visit several child care centres with your child, to see how comfortable you feel there, whether you and your child are made to feel welcome, to try out the equipment and observe the children who already attend. If the centre is clean, the equipment is modern and the children are happily engaged, those are all good signs.
You can also look at the ratio of staff to children and the quality of the interactions between staff and children. You can find this out by seeing how your child interacts with the staff there. You might also like to find out about staff turnover, staff qualifications and how long the staff members work each day. Continuity with the same staff members is an important part of helping your child to adjust to spending time away from home.
Early childhood learning can be a wonderful part of your child’s education, so put as much thought as possible into giving your child the best start in life by choosing a quality facility from the child care centres available in your neighbourhood.