Choosing the right childcare to suit your families can be a problem for Working Parents. It is important to get it right as good childcare provides you with peace of mind and your child with an enriching learning environment. Here are some tips on choosing childcare:
Selecting the Right Childcare:
You know your child best and know what kind of childcare will suit your child and meet your family’s needs. There are regulations in place for most types of childcare which set minimum standards and aim to ensure that the child’s interests come first. Early Years’ Social Workers in the Health and Social Services Trusts are responsible for the monitoring and inspection of childcare services.
When choosing childcare, consider the following:
- What hours do I work and are they regular?
- Would I prefer childcare located close to home, work, school?
- How will I pick up and drop off my children?
- Are my needs likely to change in the near future?
- If so, how will I make certain my child’s routine isn’t disturbed?
Points to consider:
- Check about registration and insurance
- Visit potential providers to see if the care feels right and check whether you and your child feel comfortable. Take up references where appropriate.
- A variety of learning experiences should be available – quiet time, messy play, creative play, outdoor activities, etc.
- Children should be able to choose activities.
- Staff should be appropriately qualified
- Talk to staff about how they manage the children’s behaviour
- Premises should be clean with age appropriate equipment
- Staff should explain how they will work in partnership with you to meet any special needs that your child may have
- Consider a trial period before making permanent arrangements
- When visiting possible childcare providers, prepare a list of questions that you want to raise before making your choice. Keep notes as you go along. This will provide a useful reference and places the arrangement on a professional footing.
(Insert link to the Choices in Childcare Publication)