When looking for the best childcare, there are certain things that you can expect from a quality childcare provider.
An all-important decision, choosing a childcare can be daunting, especially when only the best childcare will do for your little one. We spoke to some parents on what they think make it to the essential list when it comes to choosing the best childcare.
- Safety and security: The safety and security of your child should be the top priority for any childcare provider. Look for a childcare that has secure premises, strict sign-in/sign-out procedures, and trained staff who are first aid certified.Qualified and loving teachers: When assessing a childcare, meet as many teachers as you can. Talk to them about their qualifications and experience. Note that many centres have training programmes for their lesser experienced staff. A number of centres even employ experienced, but unqualified, teachers to support the main educators.
- High staff-to-child-ratio: Look for providers who have high staff-to-child ratios so your child gets the right level of attention required for their growth and wellbeing.
- Age-appropriate learning activities: A good childcare provider will provide age-appropriate learning activities for your child. These could include things like music and movement, arts and crafts, storytelling, and outdoor play. For children between 3 – 5 years, Transition to School is offered as an age-appropriate learning activity.
- Healthy meals and snacks: A healthy body is home to a healthy mind. The best childcares in Auckland all have one thing in common – a meal programme that focuses on providing healthy meals and snacks for your child. Look for childcares who use fresh, nutritious ingredients, cook on premises and who have policies around accommodating any dietary restrictions.
- Communication with parents: A good childcare provider will keep parents informed about their child’s progress and development. Look for providers who have regular parent-teacher meetings, daily reports, and who are easy to reach in case of any concerns.
- Positive and supportive environment: The best childcare provider provide a positive and supportive environment for your child. Look for providers who have a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where children are encouraged to explore, learn and develop at their own pace.
- Resources and play areas: Is the childcare spacious enough, inside and outside? What is the curriculum and kind of activities pursued at different levels. What kind of resources does the centre have? Since play forms such an important part of early learning, providing the resources that support this play is critical to their growth.
- Clear policies and procedures: A good childcare provider will have clear policies and procedures in place, covering everything from health and safety to behavior management. Look for providers who are transparent and open about their policies, and who are willing to discuss any concerns or issues you may have.