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Childcare Or Home - Helpful Tips On Making A Choice?

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Childcare Or Home - Helpful Tips On Making A Choice?

"Choosing childcare is one of the most challenging decisions a parent makes says," General Manager Development and Quality at Kidicorp, Fiona Hughes.  

Fiona knows all about how challenging the choices are having 3 grown up children who went to childcare and now 2 grandchildren who live with her and also attend childcare.

So we asked the expert, what did she look for?

"I feel for parents having to choose childcare these days. With so many providers along with the advent of in-home care, how is the average parent meant to know what is quality?

"I recommended childcare to my daughter because centres are licensed, usually have qualified teachers and are inspected by the Education Review Office.

"Home based carers are not subject to the same rigorous criteria around education, safety and curriculum.

"So when looking at a childcare, as a professional in the area, I encourage parents to look for the following:

·        the number of teachers and whether they relate to children as individuals.

·        The same teachers, so children can develop a bond or relationship. Don’t fear you won’t always be the centre of your child’s world – you don’t need to be envious of the bond between the teacher and child, but be thrilled there is one!

·        Qualified teachers – it takes 3 years tertiary training to become a teacher. Does the centre also provide a professional development programme so the teachers can keep up to date with child development and thinking?

·        Individual approach – will your child be allowed to follow their own rhythm? Experienced teachers tune into a child’s routine and rhythm. Do the teachers guide, providing gentle nurturing care?

Home based care isn’t necessarily better for your child, particularly since there isn’t the same rigorous teacher registration that is required with childcare centres. Neither do many care-givers have the three year diploma or degree that enables them to be good teachers of under fives.

"It’s a big step putting your child into childcare, but if you choose well it will not harm your child or make you a bad mum.

Look for a centre that recognises that you are your child’s best teacher and care giver relies on and wants to work with you daily to do the best they can for your child."

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