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Choosing The Best Daycare Centre Near You: A Guide For New Parents

by Aiza

Leaving your child’s care to someone else isn’t easy. But like most parents, your work obligations will oftentimes force you to enlist the aid of childcare services. On the other hand, leaving them in the care of others is helpful when you want them to be exposed to new experiences and activities they might not have at home. Whatever your reason is, finding the best care for them is important.

You have numerous childcare service options as a parent, including babysitters and nannies. But one of the most recommended choices is a daycare centre, whether a group centre or a home daycare. 

All professional daycare centres have licensed and trained caregivers who can provide excellent services, which help support a child’s cognitive development and reinforce good habits. They also foster skills that will enable your child to become a lifelong achiever. This is why it’s critical to find the best childcare services in your area. If you’re in the Shire of Cardinia, look for the best services in childcare Pakenham or whichever suburb you’re in.

When enrolling your child in daycare, you or your child may experience separation anxiety, especially if it’s your first time leaving them under someone else’s care. To alleviate anxiety, it’s important that you trust the childcare centre you choose. 

But how will you pick the right one for your child? Here’s a guide to finding the best facility near you. 

1. Find The Right Type Of Daycare

Different types of daycare facilities might be suitable for your child. Here are some of the most common daycare centres available:  

  • Child Care Centre: There are typically more children, staff, and directors at this larger daycare facility. Here, kids are grouped by age and placed in different rooms where plenty of opportunities and activities are offered. However, this might not be the best choice if you prefer a quiet environment.
  • Family Child Care Homes: These daycare centres are typically located in a residential area, and have fewer kids with only one or two caregivers. They’re able to work flexible hours and are required to meet a set of safety rules. Family childcare homes might be ideal if you want a smaller care facility and require care at any time of the day. 
  • School-Age Programs: This type of daycare offers before and after-school care that gives parents more time to focus on their other obligations. You may also use their services over the summer or during school breaks. This facility is ideal if you are unable to provide full-time care for your child. 
  • Preschool Programs: This program is great if your child is between three to five years old as it helps prepare children for school. 

All of these are good options depending on your child’s age and your requirements. 

2. Do Your Research

It’s important to conduct research before choosing a daycare for your child, especially if this is your first time using their services. There may be many facilities to choose from, but you can narrow down your search to find those that meet your child’s needs. To begin, search for daycare centres near you using the type of facility you prefer as the keywords.

To find a list of licensed daycare facilities, you may consult online directories. These resources might give you more information about your preferred centres, making the search easier. 

It’s also essential to start your research early and give yourself enough time to make a decision. This will allow you to check the facility of your choice in advance. The earlier you start, the better your chance of finding the ideal facility as you won’t end up having to settle on whatever is available just because you don’t have time left.

3. Ask Questions

Making informed decisions will be easier if you call the daycare facilities on your list and ask them questions before you arrange a visit.  

While on the call, inquire about the following information:

  • Facility rates
  • Procedure for pick-up and drop-off
  • Opening and closing schedule
  • Food availability

Their representative should be courteous and patient in answering all of your questions. They should also be able to provide more details than what’s available on their website.

4. Schedule A Walkthrough

After you’ve narrowed down your choices, the next step is to tour the facilities. This walkthrough will help you better understand the services they offer. 

Here are some things to consider when you visit them: 

  • The cleanliness of the daycare
  • The number of staff and children
  • The location of fire exits
  • The age appropriateness of the toys and materials they use

Along with these, ask the provider for a breakdown of their typical day.

During your visit, raise any concerns about your child’s specific needs. If your child is a fussy eater, ask how it’ll be addressed. 

5. Read Client Reviews

You can get more information about your chosen daycare by reading their customers’ reviews. Visit their website and see what previous clients have said about them. These reviews help show how trustworthy the facility is. 

However, as much as these reviews are helpful, they might also be biased. Find a third-party website with both positive and negative reviews. If you find more negative reviews than positive ones, you can remove the daycare from your list. Plenty of negative reviews may suggest that there are more parents with poor experiences than good ones. 

6. Verify Their Credentials

For your child’s safety, the daycare centre should have proper accreditation and licence. Any care centre with staff qualifications, curriculum evaluation, and health and safety certificates shows they’ve met the standards required to run a centre. An accredited centre will have a good ratio of adults to kids and prioritize the safety and development of the children.

Bottom Line

A daycare facility can make a significant contribution to the intellectual and social advancement of your child. Hence, selecting the right daycare for them is vital. Before you make a choice, remember what you want your child to get out of their daycare experience and why you need childcare in the first place. If you’re a new mum, use the advice above to help you make the best decision.


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