Choosing a childcare, something I’ve been reading up on recently.
Not all childcare providers are created equal. Not all childcare is beneficial to children. Some childcare can be detrimental. Here are five EASY questions to ask of your potential centres to sort the best from the rest.
1. what are their adult to child ratios?
The more personal attention your child gets the better. The legal NZ ratio for under 2s is 1 adult to 5 children but the less children an adult has to look after the better. Some centres only allow 1:3.
2. Have the teachers worked there long? OR Do teachers tend to stay long at the centre?
The less staff turnover the better. Consistency in care is good for littlies it helps them feel secure. The more secure a child feels the more able they are to focus on other things – like play and learning.
3. Does the centre encourage children to build attachments to their teachers?
Attachment[s] is important. Children will be less stressed and feel more secure knowing that there is someone they know who attends and responds to their needs, a childcare mum[s] or special friend[s].
4. What proportion of the centre’s staff are qualified?
Qualifications matter. Teachers are better able to provide positive environments where children feel safe and deliver programmes that meet individual children’s needs (developmentally and focus on their interests). Children should be actively involved in choosing and planning activities. There should be opportunity to switch activities throughout the day, play alone or in small (maybe with a friend) or large groups (e.g. singing, mat time, story time, cooking).
5. How does the centre involve families?
It is important for there to be positive and ongoing communication between staff and families. This enables both families are teachers to talk about their hopes for children and develop aims to work towards (e.g. working towards improving coordination)