Attending a childcare centre or Kindergarten helps children to develop social, emotional, and learning skills by exploring the world and playing with other kids. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful selection of childcare centres and Kindergarten options available to us, but having so many options can make choosing one for your child difficult. Here’s a few things to keep in mind when making the decision:
1. Take a tour of the Kindergarten and get an understanding of its atmosphere. You’re looking for an inviting, relaxed environment where your child can feel safe and comfortable, interacting with the educators in a positive way and participating in fun and challenging activities.
2. Look at the kindergarten’s operations, policies and procedures. These should be child and family-focused and sensitive to cultural and social backgrounds. They should also consider each family’s lifestyle and child-rearing practices.
3. Find out about their behaviour management policy.
4. Enquire about: the quality rating, daily operating hours and term lengths, fees, how food and drink is given to the children, whether extended care is offered and if you have a child with additional needs – how will they support them?
Kindergartens generally offer the Kindergarten program for six hours per day for five days per fortnight (usually two days one week, three days the next) with a set start and finish time. Parents must be available to drop off and pick up their child at these set times. There are some Kindergartens, like the Catholic Education Kindergartens, that do also offer before and after Kindy Hours Care and Vacation Care.
Knowing that you are leaving your child at a centre that you trust and are comfortable with will provide you with great peace of mind at what can often be an emotional time for not only your child but also you. Many childcare centres and Kindergartens invite parents to take a tour of their centre to see the facilities and the level of care that they offer.
If your child is approaching the age to commence Kindergarten, this guide will help you find the centre that is perfect for your family and help your child thrive. (Please bear in mind that many centres encourage early enrolment as spots do fill quickly and many have long waiting lists, so checking these centres and Kindergartens out now for future use is also a great idea).
Want to help prepare your child for school success? Life is full of transitions – primary school to high school, high school to uni, but arguably one of the most important ones is the transition of starting school. Your child is suddenly introduced to a completely different environment with new children, a new teacher and new things to learn – leading many parents to wonder if their little one is ready for it, and rightly so! Tune into Episode 55 of the PakMag Parents Podcast with Julie Dore, author of ‘Prepping for School Success’, a book all about preparing and thriving in the early years. She is passionate about helping children (and parents) be better prepared for school and has been a teacher for 14 years. For more on ‘Prepping for School Success’ visit www.preppingforschoolsuccess.com