SENDING your child off to day care can be both a daunting and confusing time.
And the first step is often the hardest - choosing the childcare centre.
So here are five points to put at the top of your childcare checklist when hunting for the right place for your little one.
The caregivers: Are they passionate about what they do? Are they welcoming and friendly? Take the time to meet the staff and see how the other children are behaving in the centre. If the staff don't care about what they are doing, you'll notice it as soon as you walk into the room. Make sure you get a good vibe from them - they are caring for your child.
Is the childcare safe/healthy: Some childcare centres provide lunch and snacks, and if yours does, it's worth checking out what they will be providing. Your version of healthy may not be what is on the menu, so ensure you know what they will feed your child. Also make sure the grounds and play equipment are well-maintained.
Is there communication: Did the staff follow up your visit or offer lines of communication? If they aren't big on communication first up, they may not be while your child is at the centre. Best to ask what their communication methods are, or try grab a parent in the carpark and get the real story.
Education: Does the centre provide the right level of education suited to your child? Do they deliver it in a way that is engaging and beneficial for the children? This is a massive growth and development time for your child, they need the right mental stimulation.
Is your child happy: A lot of children will freak out when you drop them at the gate on day one, but this is normal. If after a few days they are still not warming to the idea of childcare, consult the staff to see if there are any issues with peers or your child's performance and interaction. If your child still hates going after a couple of weeks, it might be worth looking into other centres to see if they enjoy another one more.
Miss last week's episode on kids' health and nutrition? WATCH IT HERE.
Check out our week two episode on 'smack or no smack' HERE.
And out week one episode on technology HERE.