Enrolling your child at a child care centre for the first time can be stressful, given that you are entrusting the most precious person in your life to a stranger. Australia's National Quality Framework registers childcare providers in the country, but it is only natural to seek a centre that goes beyond minimum standards. Once you have asked around for references, you can visit your options and ask questions like those listed below.
Is the Centre Licensed?
You should not assume that the establishment is accredited even if it has been operating for a while. The childcare industry in Australia is heavily regulated, and each state and territory also sets standards for child care centres. Ask about service approvals, ratings, supervisor certificates, and provider approvals.
Qualified personnel will not only be versed with the best childcare qualifications but child protection laws as well. Each state has its child protection regulations, such as the 2005 Youth and Families Act in Victoria. The National Quality Framework necessitates 50% of the staff in a childcare business to have a diploma level qualification. The NQF also sets the educator-to-child ratio for child care centres in the country. The standard ratio of children below two years, for example, is 1:4.
What Is the Sick Child Policy?
It is essential to know if illnesses like fever and running nose will excuse a child from the program. Ask about the communication protocol if there is an emergency with your child. You should find out if they will call 911 first before contacting you and if they will call you more than once.
Enquire if all children need to be up to date with immunisations. You should ensure that your kid will not be exposed to different illnesses from other children, especially if they are very young.
Which Curriculum Is Used?
Every child care centre has its practices and programs that encourage learning, interaction, and curiosity among children, and you should also ask about the policy on technology. Playing and spending time outside will promote your child's health and development. It is best to select a centre that allocates plenty of time for playing and exploration.
It is essential to know how the children will be disciplined and how the centre approaches bullying and abusive behaviour between children. The ideal child care centre should guide children, rather than exclude and spank them. You should ensure that the establishment is fair in its punishment policy and that they thoroughly investigate issues between children.