As a parent, you understand the value of being given time to bond with your new baby and form special connections during the first months of his or her life. After a certain amount of time in your special baby bubble, you’ll be ready to re-enter the workforce for a variety of reasons.

Sending your baby to a childcare centre is a big decision that affects your whole family, and at Child’s Play, we want to reassure you that you are making the right decision. By sending your baby to Child’s Play ELC, you will be able to feel at peace when returning to work that your baby is being looked after by professionals who care have some of the highest available qualifications to ensure excellent care.

Here are some helpful hints to ensure the transition to childcare from home is a smooth one.

Step 1. Consider your childcare options and book a tour

Whether you are living in Melbourne Metro or regional Victoria, there are many different types of childcare options available. You will need to decide what is important to you and the role childcare will play in your day-to-day schedule.

Our Child’s Play ELC services in Torquay, Tarneit West and Tarneit are family-focused, community-centred, and deliver play-based curriculums for all ages in premium indoor-outdoor facilities. Our families regularly get to be involved in initiatives such as a walking library, community gardens and surf school days at the beach.

Why do I need to tour the centre?

A tour of the centre gives you an idea of how your infant will be cared for, stimulated and interact with other children in the centre as you are able to observe other children in our environment.

You’ll be able to meet key educators (including centre managers and room leaders) who can discuss your needs and concerns to determine if they meet your expectations.

These tours also provide you with a greater understanding of why an indoor-outdoor environment will be beneficial for your child’s development and give you an idea of how far away our centres are from your home you can plan drop-off and pickup times.

Step 2. Book an orientation session

Orientations are a great way to determine if the childcare centre is the right fit for your family. At Child’s Play, we recommend at least two orientation sessions per family but the trend post-pandemic is that parents are enquiring earlier and opting for more orientation sessions to ensure they, and their children, are completely comfortable with their choice of centre.

Orientations focus on building up a child’s confidence to be left alone with the educators for periods of time and help them become familiar with their new environments.

When your child is still an infant, the orientations are more parent- and educator-focused, so they are shorter but more concentrated. These sessions give you a chance to discuss your child’s current routines, food habits and other concerns. Our educators will also ask about your family structure, your culture and community, your child’s interests, immunisations and specific dietary requirements. Dietary requirements are a core part of our orientation as it assists our chef with creating healthy snacks and meals that every child can enjoy. It is also incredibly important to us that we celebrate all cultures within our centres so we invite families to share their culture with us and allow us and our families to be a part of their community too.

At Child’s Play, we will aim to book your orientation sessions to be the same days you want your child to be enrolled so you and your child can become familiar with the educators who will be working on those days and the children who will be in the centre.

If you want to learn more about our orientation program for babies, check out this article about What to Expect When Enrolling Babies. 

Step 3: Prepare for Day 1

Prior to enrolling your child at Child’s Play, we recommend setting up your MyGov and Medicare accounts, so you are able to claim the Child Care Subsidy and access the most up to date records for your immunisations.

We also recommend, before Day 1, downloading and testing out our OWNA app so you are familiar with how it works and how educators will be communicating with you. This way you can be across everything and be confident in choosing Child’s Play ELC.

The Night before Day 1: What to pack

We recommend packing for childcare the night before so there is less stress in the morning on your first day of childcare. At Child’s Play we recommend picking out a special childcare bag and making sure the following items are in the bag the night before:

  • A change of clothes.
  • A special toy to soothe them if they get upset.
  • A coat and a beanie (if it is winter) or a legionnaire or summer hat (if it is summer).
  • A photograph of the family that can be kept at the service.
  • Any special bottles or feeding equipment they prefer.

Why should you send your baby to Child’s Play ELC?

Child’s Play ELC is a long day childcare centre that caters to all children under the age of 6. We are a family-run, family focus and involved childcare centre. Meeting our family’s needs and including them to be a part of our curriculum set us apart from every other childcare centre.

We create programs with families for their babies that are tailored to their individual needs. During our orientation process, we get to know you as a family and your schedules so that we can maintain them when your child starts at childcare. In order to be able to do this, we have a higher standard of educators than what is required by the ACECQA, and our current educator to child ratio is 1:4 at our Torquay and Tarneit facilities in rooms 1 to 4.

As parents ourselves, we understand the tears and nerves that come with the first day of childcare. One of the most common things we hear from our parents is “I feel bad for leaving them.” We want to reassure you that they will be suitably cared for by our educators and trained childcare professionals, so you can go to work confidently and comfortably.

If you have any questions about the orientation process or you want to book a tour, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our Tarneit, Tarneit West and Torquay centres.