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Beginning your Childcare Journey

If you’re about to enrol your child in care, the last thing you want is for everyone to have a stressful experience. You can do plenty of things to make the process easier, and we are here to help you every step of the way. It can be quite an exciting process to determine which childcare centre will provide your child with the best opportunity to learn, grow, and make great friendships! Here are some tips to help you with choosing the right childcare for your family.

Start by making a list of what’s important to you

When choosing the right childcare provider for your family, consider what’s most important to you and your child.

Is location one of the main things that matter to you?

Or maybe cost and hours are more important than anything else?

Some centres have an open-door policy for enrolled families to stay and visit throughout the day; others only allow families to drop off at the front door. No matter what a centre provides, it’s good to have your list of priorities at the forefront of your mind as you begin searching.

choosing the right childcare - Eden Academy Palm Beach outdoor play space

In which situations does your child THRIVE?

To know which centre is right for your child, you should consider who he or she is. In some centres, children receive more 1:1 attention and care because of smaller classrooms, while in others, more children and staff are in larger spaces.

Perhaps your child likes to spend most of their time outside rather than inside all day?

In some centres, outdoor play is the primary form of play, with lush and well-resourced outdoor environments, while in others, there are only a few windows for outdoor play. Think about what kind of environment your child will thrive in early on, because you know them best.

Although getting feedback and advice from friends is beneficial, don’t worry about other people’s opinions and ensure that they don’t sway what YOU believe is most important in choosing the right childcare for your family!

Visit several daycares before making a decision

When choosing the right childcare for your family, visiting at least three different centres is important. You should go on their websites and ask families with children currently enrolled in the daycare centre you are considering. If they don’t have any recommendations, they will know someone who knows someone who can help you find the right one! Many centres are on social media these days, and visiting their profiles can be an excellent way to see what learning experiences they offer, their reviews and how the staff set up the classrooms.

You can take an in-person tour at Eden Academy to learn more about the care we provide by walking through the centre with our Managers. As soon as you are enrolled, we hold numerous “Stay and Play” sessions with your child during class so you can become more familiar with the new environment before your child begins. Your child can meet new friends and connect with their educators during these activities and ease into the transition with you by their side.

Don’t hesitate to ask centres if you have any questions or concerns about their service. If they are unwilling to be transparent with you or cannot answer your questions, that may be a sign of problems down the road.

Educator plays music for children on a ukulele

Ask the right questions

If you have never enrolled your child in care before, you might feel overwhelmed when it comes to knowing which questions are the right ones to ask. A good childcare provider will be more than happy to answer your queries promptly, even after you have completed your in-person tour.
Consider asking questions about policies and procedures, especially if your child has any special requirements or needs, such as allergies or medical conditions. Some other questions you may want to consider include:
  • What are the qualifications of your staff?
  • What is the ratio of children to staff
  • Are there opportunities for parent involvement?
  • What kind of training do you offer your staff?
  • How much notice is required before a child can be enrolled or dropped from care
  • What kind of activities are available for my child?
  • Are there any special programs?
If you’re in doubt, ask!

Check on food choices and health guidelines

Every centre will have a different method of food service, for example, all meals provided or BYO lunch boxes. For centres that serve cooked meals to children, what kind of food do they serve, and how do they manage food allergies?
The centre should also have clear guidelines on how parents can make requests and changes to their children’s diets. For example, are certain foods not allowed at the daycare? (if other children have life-threatening food allergies, that allergen is often not allowed in the centre at all).
At Eden Academy, we provide all meals; Breakfast, Morning Tea, Lunch, Afternoon Tea and Late Snack. We have strict food preparation and service guidelines to be shared with you upon enrollment. We welcome you to discuss where your child is in the relationship with food and offer alternatives if they find it challenging to eat new foods.
Choosing the Right Childcare for Your Family | Image 4

Observe the staff members and their interactions with children

In addition to the physical environment, you should also consider the staff members. What sort of interactions do they have with children? Are they friendly and welcoming? Do they engage them in activities, or do they seem impatient when it comes to playtime? How patient and calm is their demeanour toward your child? If you’re looking for a childcare facility that will be able to help your child develop social skills and make friends, then look no further than places that put the needs of children first.

We’re here to help

When choosing the right childcare for your child, there are many factors to consider, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. We hope these tips have helped you feel more confident in your decisions and will help make sure everyone has a great experience at the centre.

two young girls dancing together at Eden Academy Childcare

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