Two months ago, we published a small piece on how to choose the right day care centre for your child. Since then, we have been asked a lot of questions by parents in the Perth area. We decided to cover the subject again in better detail and answer some of the more common questions we have been getting.
We know it can seem like there is a day care centre on every corner in Perth. They are all licensed and they say the same things in their advertising but how do you know which day care centre is going to take the best care of your child?
The bad news is that there is no shortcut. The good news is that you can figure out the best day care centre for your child by asking the right questions. But what are the right questions? Let’s give you a little bit of background information first.
All day care centres are regulated under the National Quality Framework (NFQ). That is great for your child because it establishes minimal standards ensuring every child competent care. So, how do you decide when the choices are so good? Here are some tips.
First: start considering and investigating your options now, before you need to. What days and hours are you going to need child care? Are there any special concessions you will need made for your child?
There are different kinds of day care: long day care, family day care, preschools and outside hours care. Which of these fit your current lifestyle?
Remember that a lot of the better schools have waiting lists. If you are interested in one or more day care centres, put your name on the waiting list.
Visit the day care centre. Don’t be afraid to visit and ask questions. Get a feel for whether or not your child will be comfortable there.
Ask These Questions When Investigating a Service
- What are your hours of operation?
- What are the drop-off and pick-up times?
- Do you close for vacations? If yes, what days do you close?
- Can I visit my child at your day care centre whenever I want to?
- Will you charge me fees when my child is absent or on holidays?
- Does the centre supply meals and nappies or are they my responsibility?
- What is the ratio of staff to children?
- What qualifications, experience and skills does each member of your staff have?
- Does your facility have a quality rating? If so, what is it?
- What aged children do you accept?
- How do I know that your centre is going to encourage my child to develop and learn?
- What are the internal policies and procedures of your centre?
- Am I eligible for any assistance or subsidies?
Child Care Rebates and Benefits
You may be eligible for Child Care Rebates (CCR) and/or Child Care Benefits (CCB). Both programs are offered by the Australian Government. If your child is in a day care centre so you can work, study or receive training, the Government may refund you half of your child care expenses out of pocket through CCB. You may also get up to $7,500 per year from CCR.
You can find more information at mychild.gov.au or Centrelink.
Learning Through Play
Play-based learning is one of the most beloved core values of Australian child care. It has been proven to be more effective than learning methods taught later in school. Playing with other children helps your child develop social skills, communication skills, mathematical skills and even critical thinking. Best of all, it won’t feel like they are in school. They will just be playing with their new friends.
A high quality day care centre will offer both structured and unstructured opportunity for your child to learn through play, both individually and with other children. The staff will interact with your child to help figure out his or her interests. Then, they will use simple toys or props such as a cardboard box “car.”
Call Your Nearest Cuddles Childcare Centre Today
We have three locations in the Perth area. Find your closest Cuddles Childcare Centre at the bottom of the page.