It can be difficult to decide on the right educational institution, as there are many factors to consider.
In this article, we will discuss the key qualities that you should be looking for in a long day care centre. So, read on!
What Is Long Daycare
Before you start searching for a centre for your child, it is important to understand first what long daycare is.
In a sense, this form of preschool education provides learning and social opportunities for children from birth through age five, or until they are ready for international kindergarten education. Its main purpose is to help your child develop as much as possible before beginning their formal education at school by offering early childhood education and care when developmental milestones can be achieved best.
While most long daycare centres are open for the entire week, there are some that also offer part-time programmes. You can choose childcare in Epping that provides full-time services as well, if you are working a full-time job.
If you have an infant, then a long daycare centre will give you more freedom to work or perform important daily tasks without having to worry about your little one.
What Makes a Great Long Daycare
When choosing a long day care centre for your child, it is important to ensure that it meets the following criteria.
Friendly and Safe Environment
The centre should be safe for students, including children with special needs or disabilities. They should also have good hygiene practices in place and ensure that all their educational materials and toys are safe and age-appropriate.
Properly Trained Staff Members
The long daycare staff members should be well-trained and certified to care for children and provide early childhood education. They should have the appropriate credentials to perform their job duties in accordance with state laws governing long daycare centres.
When sending your child to day care Brisbane or any other Australian city has to offer, you don’t want it to cost you an arm and a leg. In a way, the centre must be able to provide affordable fees for parents. Better yet, their tuition should already include additional services, such as transportation or meals.
Quality Educational Programmes
Of course, the centre that you choose should have a curriculum that is suitable to your child’s learning style, age group, and interests. Its carers and educators should also be able to teach children how they can learn from their peers in social situations through playtime activities as well as engage them with games that encourage problem-solving skills.
And, don’t forget about reading time. The centre should host storytimes where children are introduced to new words every week or so, helping build up their vocabulary over time without it being overwhelming on their minds.
Low Educator-to-Learner Ratio
This ensures that each child can get the individual attention they need in order to thrive and grow. This is especially important for infants and toddlers who are still working on developing their basic skills, such as walking, talking, and toilet training.
According to the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the recommended teacher-to-children ratios for daycare are the following:
- 1:4 – for children up to 2 years of age
- 1:5 – for children from 2 to 3 years old
- 1:10 – for children more than 3 years of age or those attending a pre-school programme
So, when choosing a long daycare centre, look for those with ratios within these numbers.
Flexible Hours and Services
A good daycare centre should be able to accommodate the needs of parents who have different schedules and lifestyles. For example, it could operate from Monday through Friday between 9 AM and 5 PM. This is something that could work out well for both parties involved.
Where to Look for Long Daycare Centres
The best place to look for these institutions today is, of course, the internet. With just a quick search using keywords, such as “day care near me”, you will be able to find potential long daycare centres that are located in your area.
Aside from doing a “community day care near me” search online, you can also use a childcare directory website where there is an extensive list of centres all over Australia.
Of course, you can also ask other families who have children of the same age as your child for recommendations. Sure enough, they will have some names to suggest to you.
Once you’ve shortlisted a few centres, it’s important to schedule a visit to each of them so that you can get a feel for the place and see if it is really a good fit for both your child and your family.
Nowadays, there are many a long day care centre popping up all over the country—some good and some not so much. So, it’s important that you do your research before deciding on which one to enrol your child into.
Consider what is most important to you when making this decision. Is it having affordable rates? Or, maybe you’re looking for an institution that has a specific curriculum already in place that caters to your child’s learning style. Whatever you’re looking for, make sure the centre meets all of the above-mentioned criteria.
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