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Thread: Child care - what to look out for.

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Default Child care - what to look out for.

    I'm returning to work full time in Feb (thanks to the increase in interest rates etc! ) and have DD enrolled at daycare for four days.

    What are other people's experiences, and what should I look out for? I really want her to be looked after well, as I will be 1 1/2 hours away from her and probably will stress all day about it. And probably a few tears too. :frown:


  2. #2

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    Sep 2005
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    hi, look out for there programs to make sure they are covering childrens intersts (spel) and their developmental stages. Ask about ratio numbers between staff and children, if you are going t go and visit before you put your DD in go at a busy time, between 11:30 and 12:30 or about 2-3 this when staff are likey to be stressed as children are going down to sleep from lunch or children are waking up and you get to see what staff are like under pressure.
    I too am looking for care but for my 2 year old DD.

  3. #3

    Join Date
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    Thanks Kelly. I think I will be asking a few questions before I 'sign on the dotted line'.

  4. #4

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    Do exactly as kmh suggested and just call in without making an appointment. Ring them first and see how they talk to you, then just call in. Gives you a better idea how the centre is run. In Melb, the centres can be accredited, so check and see if they have any accreditation (these are run by independant people who come and evaluate the centre and rely on parental surveys etc). Ask for a menu of what the kids get and how often is changes. Ask also what qualifications the staff hold who will be responsible for your DD. If they are a good centre, they won't mind you asking lots of questions.

    Good luck with your search.

  5. #5

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    Nov 2004
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    Copenhagen
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    We started DS very slowly. For the first 5 visits, I was with him and we stayed for an hour. He would play and I would sit and chat with the teachers or play as well. This gave me an opportunity to get to know the people he would be spending the time with. Over the next weeks I would leave him and come an pick him up after an hour or so. He got to a point that he really wanted to be there and stay longer. Now, he is there for lunch and his nap and he loves it. We have not had tears yet - its been a couple of months, so it still may happen.
    The thing is, he has been sick quite a bit with viruses since starting. They say it is common that they will pick up lots of new bugs they've never been exposed to before. It isn't a problem for me to keep him home and look after him, as I am not working. Just to keep it in mind, it may be wise to start your daughter before you get into work so you can be there to support her.

  6. #6

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    As well as what all the girls above have mentioned try hanging around a little longer as you fill out forms etc or pretend to read notice boards and listen to how the staff speak to the children and to each other. I've worked in child care for 5 years and in that time staff came and went... sometimes morale would drop and often it would be the children who would suffer as frustrated staff members would sometimes take it out on the children. Good staff don't speak "down" to children or poorly to each other... and if you have good staff you have a good centre... doesn't matter how nice the facilities are or the impressive programs... the things children notice most and are affected by the most is the prevailing atmosphere... if you have that everything else will fall into place.

    Good luck!

  7. #7

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    Hi Leanne,
    I unfortunatly returned to work after 18 months will my little girl and found the transition really difficult for her and me. We had been to the centre for sessions up to 2 hrs 3 times a week before starting, Eliza was booked in for 3 days a week. This centre had a lot of really young girls nothing against that but it was a new centre and we found they often had all the children in the one room so Eliza was with the newborns and causing alot of trouble. I never knew what she had been up too or if she had eaten and everything was vaugue...any way as months went on it escalated when they were calling me everytime she was in DC to pick her up for stupid reasons..like when she put her tooth thro her lip and it had stoped bleeding. Being in that enviroment also compacted her to contract rota virus and be hospitalised for 1.5 weeks with a NGT and then after returning to DC back to hospital again with the same thing.
    We were offered a position at my choice of daycare and took it even tho I gave up work after she got sick. This daycare she is in a room with her age group and se has "primary" carers so although there is 23 kids in this huge room with large park like area outside she has the same person looking after her needs and putting her to bed. They were happy to accomodate with a portacot in the sleeping room as she hadnt slept on a bed but know prefers it.
    We have a diary that tells me all the things she has done and who she played with and a big white board with the carers name and the children names under neath with servings and bowel movement and sleep duration so for mummys that have little time..I can glance up and see whats gone on and leave. This daycare is more Eliza is has real grass and real dirt lol not like the synthetic stuff and she plays outside all day..more like a home enviroment.
    The only problem is that we had to take up the first one as places in good centres are often hard to get..Good luck

  8. #8
    NewmumLou Guest

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    This is my area!!!!!!(qualified Early childhood teacher).
    1) Make sure it is accredited this is the first major thing to look out for, because if it is accredited this means they have certain guidlines and procedures that the centre has to stick with!
    2)Go for a visit and see what the atmosphere is like. See how children react to teachers, the routine and general play, at every centre there is always one child upset, see how the teachers treat this child (i.e. do they leave him in a corner to get over it by himself or is someone there comforting him).
    3) Look for centre policies and see what they want for the children.
    4) Ask if they have portfolios that they put together of the childrens artworks so that you get to keep at the end of the year. See if they do parent/ teacher interviews, you will know if they are approachable.
    5) It is always good to stay with your child for the first 2 visits for just an hour so that your child knows it is a happy and safe environment.
    6)Get to know who the primary caregiver will be of your child.
    7)Check to see resources in the centre a good- not broken or old.
    Hope this will help.....

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    Sydney, New South Wales
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    Thanks everyone for your help and advice.

    Louise, have you heard of Mud Puddles @ Emu Plains?

  10. #10

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    in a land of screaming kids.
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    anyone able to recommend a childcare place near Penrith? I live at St Marys but am willing to travel a bit if I KNOW they are good. I really wanna put my 2yr old in for one or two days and maybe my 1yr old for a day a week HELP please?!

  11. #11

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    This may offend some (and this is purely my own opinion), but I would be going into the centre and smelling the carers.....I hated working in Aged Care with heavy smokers as they'd come back from breaks and just stink....poor residents. Plus if they don't wash their hands there would still be nicotine on their fingers and I don't want my baby to have any contact with it....
    Aaah, sorry to all the smokers out there.

  12. #12
    NewmumLou Guest

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    No i havent heard of Mud puddles, i worked at the childrens hospital at westmead childcare.... fabulous, but unfortunalty you have to work in the hospital to get a place. The thing i found when working in the centres was the council run centres were better as some of the private run centres (not all) treat it as a business rather than caring for children.

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