Leaving your child with new faces can be so daunting, especially when it’s something you need to do in order to return to the workforce. It’s a big step for your child too, and it’s something you should be entirely confident about, before their first day in childcare.
The first step is making sure you are properly informed. You should do some of your own research before taking a step inside a childcare centre. In order for you to fully understand what each childcare centre is offering; you need to understand what the legal requirements are and what is being offered. You should understand what qualifications are needed and what the ratios are. It may also be beneficial to investigate what the programming requirements are, as well as how a kindergarten program works. Once you have a grasp of what the minimum each centre can provide is, you can start having tours to investigate where you could be interested in.
We suggest looking at many different centres to see what best suits the needs of your family and so you can ensure you are completely satisfied with your final choice. Call each centre and book a tour; this ensures that together you and the centre have organised a time that suits each of you. Arrive at your chosen time and listen to what the educators within the centre have to say about their place of work. If an educator doesn’t believe in what they’re offering, what could that tell you about the environment? Ask as many questions as you can. Again, you are talking about leaving your pride and joy with these people, make sure you have all of the answers.
When choosing which childcare centre is right for you, you need to feel confidently about leaving your child in care there and have trust in the educators. Whilst seeing all the different centres in your area you will have positive and negative feelings towards different aspects of what each centre is offering, this will play a big part in where you choose. You will need open two-way communication about what your child is doing at home and at care between your family and the educators in your child’s room to ensure you are all working towards the same goals.
Lastly the other things you will need to consider will be ensuring the childcare centre of choice has the availability for what you require and the price. You will need to apply for the childcare subsidy (if eligible), as it may take as long as 6 weeks to return your entitlements. You should also be aware that the best time to enter a new childcare centre will usually be the beginning of the year in order to get maximum availability after kindergarten children have left to go to primary school.
In the end, you will only feel relaxed leaving your children with the centre you have the best feeling towards and trust the most to take the best care of your little one. Trust in yourself and those feelings.