So you’ve searched for daycare centres near me and found a list of providers; should you book a tour straight away? Not so fast; you could save yourself some serious time by asking a few questions of each provider first.
We’ve compiled a 20 question checklist below to help you make an informed decision about which daycare centre will suit you and your child.
Some daycare centres will provide you with a copy of their policies and procedures before-hand, which will address many of these questions. Other questions are best answered on a tour.
The Practicalities: How do Daycare Centres Near Me Operate?
Before you consider enrolling your child, it’s good to know exactly how the daycare centre functions so you can avoid surprises down the track. Getting answers to these questions below can help you get a sense of what the centre prioritises and whether they have adequate procedures in place to cover various situations.
- Are parents encouraged to actively engage with the daycare centre? For instance, can you call in unannounced to see your child?
- How often are parents given information about the programs and activities their child undertakes as well as updates on their progress?
- What kinds of programs and activities does the centre offer?
- Will you need to sign a contract before enrolling your child?
- What is the daycare centre’s procedure for handling complaints?
- What is the process if you want to end your child’s enrolment?
- Does the centre have clearly defined procedures for minimising the risk of allergic reactions?
- Are all educators trained to deliver first aid including CPR?
- What are the required qualifications of junior and senior educators?
- How long has the centre’s director worked in child care?
- How much experience does the provider have?
At Sesame Lane for instance we’ve been providing childcare services since 1988 so you can be confident we understand how to best care for your child.
What Fees and Charges Apply at Daycare Centres Near Me?
When your search for daycare centres near me, given they are likely closely located, you might expect all centres to have similar fees and charges. However, prices can vary significantly between providers, especially if the provider is unapproved. Here’s our top six questions you should ask before attending a tour so you can decide if you’re comfortable with the fees:
- Is the centre an approved provider (so you can benefit from the child care subsidy if eligible)?
- Does the centre charge above the hourly rate cap set by the federal government?
- Will there be additional charges for supplies like nappies and snacks?
- Does the centre provide costs for planned special programs and activities so you know what to expect?
- Does the centre charge for late pick-ups? If so what is the charge?
Look for Information Beyond the Provider’s Website
When you search for daycare centres near me, you’ll likely bring up a list of daycare provider websites, but there’s much more information out there! Try following up the below:
- Look for reviews of each provider. Some reviews can be found on provider websites, but check out social media apps like Facebook, dedicated review websites like wordofmouth or type ‘daycare centres near me’ into Google Maps, (click on each provider and scroll down the left hand bar to see reviews).
- Find out if the daycare centre has a social media presence – if so how often do they post? What do they post about? This can give you a good idea of what the centre’s priorities are.
- Search travel times to each daycare centre using Google Maps. Make sure you select your desired arrival time before clicking ‘search’ to get an accurate result reflecting traffic volume.