So you are ready to embark on the looking for a childcare centre adventure! You have millions of questions in your head and you make the very smart decision of asking your friends about their childcare centres. Did it help or have you now added more questions to your list and are completely anxious about the whole process? It’s like picking an obstetrician. Everyone has the best one and the rest you shouldn’t bother with. When you find something you love, you stick with it and boast about it to the world. So when asking about a childcare centre, you are met once again with all your friends claiming their children attend the best one and all the activities they do and the communication they keep with the parents is amazing etc etc etc and you discover your friends are suddenly speaking another language.
You just want to know things like:
- Which one is the best?
- How much do they cost and do they all cost the same?
- What time do I take my child?
- How often can I put them in?
- Will they love and care for my child?
- How will I know if my child is being well cared for there?
- What do they eat there?
- What activities do they do?
- How do I know what my child does during the day?
- Do they help toilet train?
I could go on for miles but I know the questions you want to ask, the anxieties you are currently feeling and I have a solution to help you through all this!
You see, everyone’s advice is wonderful and what has been an amazing childcare centre for a friend’s child may not work best with your family. No one knows your child more than you do!
There is a special personality and many treasured qualities your child has that you want someone to help you nurture them so they can learn, experience their world and develop in their milestones in the best way possible, and most of all be at their happiest! There is nothing more relieving than your child hopping in the car with an enormous smile and excitedly listing all the amazing things they have done in their day.
So you think about your child. What are they like? What makes them happy? What are their interests? You make a list of them so you can match the right childcare centre to your child.
I will give you an example using my own child when I put him into a childcare centre. I knew there were many around my area and they all had great reputations with friend’s also very happy in them. But I looked at my son and realised there were things I needed to consider for his benefit. He is extremely shy, doesn’t like lots of noise and is easily overwhelmed. Straight away that excluded any large childcare centres with a lot of kids and in really busy areas. It may sound like I was being picky but I was just making my search through hundreds of childcare centres in my area smaller and more specific. I then noted he liked being outside, gardening, taking care of animals, playing in sandpits and riding bikes. He needed teachers that would appreciate and nurture his social and emotional development not just be there to supervise. We were ready to start two days a week so I also wanted somewhere that had vacancies straight away for the days I needed. Now after considering all this about my child, I could find the right childcare centre! So what is the easiest, quickest, less stressful way to find the best child care centre for you?
It’s called spotachildcare.com.au and is a website that does all of your research for you… yes please!
Spot A Child Care lets you search using your postcode, age of child and distance you want to travel to find a childcare centre in your area. A list of childcare centres will appear on your screen and you can then narrow your search using the map, days you will need for your child or even if there are nappies and food provided.
Each childcare centre is then listed with their quality star rating given to them by the National Quality Standard which includes a rating based on education, children’s health and safety, the environment your child will play in, staff, the children they will play with, community involved and management of the centre. So to save you a great deal of time clicking on each childcare centre, you can decide which centres to research further based on the rating they have next to their name.
Once you have chosen the childcare centre/s you wish to look at, the information for their website, address and phone number is ready for you to use. Most of the childcare centres let you see which days currently have vacancies or when the centre will be enrolling new children. For some centres the waiting list can be anywhere from months to a year and sometimes more, especially if you are looking for specific days. This tool on the Spot a Childcare website saves a lot of time so you aren’t calling every centre to be told there is a waiting list.
There is no joining fee with Spot a Childcare and as you navigate your way around the website, you will find all the information you are looking for to help you answer any questions you have and blogs on parenting, children and eduction to read. The site works seamlessly on smart phones, tablets and laptops so perfect for any busy mumma!
For any childcare centre owners, directors and teachers reading this, I highly recommend you consider adding your centre and information to the list. You can find out more information about putting your centre on the search list in the website’s menu.
Head to spotachilcare.com.au and find the childcare centre that is right for your child. You can also find information on Spot a Childcare's Facebook page.
©The Realistic Mum
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If you love children’s books then I have written a lovely little book on clouds changing into different shapes that you can find on Amazon and iTunes. Look for the title Look At The Clouds, What Can You See? It's less than $3.00!!!