Consideration needed when choosing the right childcare
The recent report by Brainwave Trust about childcare highlighted the very difficult choices parents are facing when considering childcare for their 0-5yr old child. Parents are facing extraordinary pressures to provide their children with the very best start in the wake of economic pressures that also demand two-income households to meet the costs of housing and growing a family.
Parents put great consideration into choosing the right childcare and early education for their baby or child. Good experiences in early learning help our children build a strong foundation for becoming confident learners ongoing. As well, we want our children to be safe, nurtured and happy.
Without a doubt there are more choices now for parents in Hawke’s Bay when choosing an early learning and childcare environment for their 0 – 5yr old with over 200 licensed ECE services operating in the Bay. Parents expect a service will deliver on quality early childhood education experiences for their child as well as affordability. Swapping and changing services, chasing the latest deal, is not ideal for our children who need time to settle, make friends and really feel their ECE place is their space. So how do we choose what is ‘right’?
Napier Family Centre is a not for profit community agency and offers a centre-based service, Sunny Days, and a home-based service, Bright Futures. Each service offers early learning and care for babies through to 5 year olds. We know that children thrive when the service is developed with the child’s needs are foremost.
Tips for choosing childcare
- Ask loads of questions. Ask about adult to children ratios, routines, how long their child will be in a van if there’s a pick-up service, sleeping arrangements, discipline, ‘what if’ questions, play activities, space, outings, any special considerations, e.g. food allergies, toileting, how they settle upset children, costs, how they will communicate how your child is getting along,
- Look around – are the children happy in their environment, how does the place feel to you? What are the play resources like – toys don’t have to be bright and shiny but are there enough activities and books and space to sit or run around. How are the adults interacting with the children?
- Check out the ERO report – you can get them online ero.govt.nz or ask for a copy.
- Trust your instincts.
Remember … This is about your child so any of your questions are important!