8 Essential Questions for Your Daycare Provider
As a parent or guardian, choosing the right daycare provider for your child will be one of the biggest decisions you make. Whether you’re returning to work or hoping to get your kid socialised and making friends, trusting people who are virtually strangers to take care of your child is a scary thought for anyone.
Naturally, safety and security are the number-one concerns of most parents, although there are plenty of other factors to consider too. The best way to relieve your stress and ease your mind is to schedule a tour with a potential daycare provider and arrive ready to ask all the questions that you need answers to.
Preparing these questions ahead of time will ensure you don’t forget any important points or get too wrapped up in your tour. Here are our essential questions to ask all daycare providers so that you can feel confident in your decision.
Are you licensed?
First and foremost, you need to make sure that all daycare providers you consider are licensed and legally running their facility, and have the documentation to support this. A Child Care License ensures that a facility meets all relevant health and safety requirements and has the resources to take care of your child’s needs.
What skills, experience and qualifications do your staff have?
Another factor to consider is the skills, experience and qualifications of the staff. To become a Childcare provider, one must have received a formal qualification, such as Certificate III in Early Childhood and Care.
If a centre has staff who have only recently graduated and joined the workforce, you might like to make sure there’s a sufficient number of senior staff members to help lead and guide them. When meeting the staff members, some skills to look out for are patience, communication and listening, compassion and perseverance.
How will my child be taken care of?
Something else to think about is how the centre actually plans on taking care of your child while in their care. What activities do they have planned on a regular week? What kinds of toys and playground equipment do they have? What kind of food will they be fed? These are all important questions worth considering.
How does the pick-up and drop-off work?
Different daycare centres have different pick-up and drop-off policies, so make sure you’re familiar with them. For example, some centres will require contact beforehand if a child is being picked up early, and others will require identification.
How secure is your location?
One of the most important features of any daycare centre is its security measures for both children and adults. How do they secure the premises and ensure all children remain safe and accounted for at all times? Do they have security cameras, fire extinguishers and alarms, front door controls and sign-in and out sheets? A good childcare centre will be able to keep intruders out and children in at all times.
How do I receive updates on my child?
It’s only natural that you should want updates on your child’s progress throughout their time at your chosen childcare centre, so enquire about what methods each centre uses to do this. Some might use apps, and some might use a more traditional approach such as report cards or parent-teacher interviews.
What is your rate? Are there any extra fees?
Of course, there’s no use going through this process if a daycare provider is out of your budget. Always make sure to find out what their fees are and have them break it down for you so you don’t miss anything. Some providers will charge extra fees for certain occasions, such as when you’re late, so you want to be aware of anything like this if it might be an issue for you further down the line.
Are there any off-campus trips?
Some daycare providers will take the kids on trips to the park, walks around the neighbourhood or even field trips. If your potential provider does this, don’t forget to ask about transportation methods, rules and the safety measures taken during these trips.
You can also read, What you Need to Know about Working in Aged Care