thread: Questions to ask day care/child care centres

  1. #1
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Oct 2003
    Forestville NSW

    Questions to ask day care/child care centres

    Ok... I brought Matilda's godmother who works in child care with me to investigate the best facilities in our area and when we were desperate she gave me a list of questions to ask and decide upon.

    If you know of any more questions to ask, add them on here, hopefully we can compile a great list for parents to ask:

    1. Community or Privately based?
    - as both have to follow the same laws, its only an issue of the way things are implemented and what the focus of the centre is.

    2. What is the daytime schedule or routine?
    - they all will have a basic schedule but this is important to find out the way they do things.

    3. How is information recorded so I can know what has happened during the day?
    - some have individual children's log books where they record toileting, feeding, sleeping and behavioural patterns

    4. Is the centre play based?
    - there are definately different schools of thought on how the children learn, whether it be play based or crafts etc... for bubs under 15 months there can't be much else

    5. What is provided by the centre/or carer if its family day care?
    - some provide everything but bottles, some don't provide anything, good to know.

    6. Whats the payment system?

    Things to note:
    1. What are the staff doing in the room while you are visiting?
    -at the centre Matilda is at, every visit we did (3 before committing) there was a minimum of one staff member on the ground with the babies, the other might be cleaning up, changing a nappy, or settling a baby. But there was always one on the ground with the others.

    2. Whats the staff demeanor?
    - do they seem happy? Usually happy staff = happy babies.

    3. What's the staff turnover like?
    - very related to the last question...

    Ok thats it for now, feel free to add any questions or observations on, hopefully we can help eachother out!

  2. #2
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Aug 2003

    Hey here's my imput

    Ask to see their program so that you can see what kind of activities they do in the day

    Ask if they have communication books for the younger group so that you always know how their day was etc incase the group leader hasnt started when you drop the child off, or have finished before you pick them up.

    Ash about their behsaviour managment policy, how do they deal with things like biting etc

    Ask the staff in the room matilda would be in how long they have been in the room for (like staff changeover) and what their qualifications are. Some staff can still be a group leader with out holding a diploma in childcare cause they can be endorsed by the centre.

    Ask about settling the child for sleep times, somtimes they'll pat the children to sleep cause its easier and quicker, although some parents don't want this to happen.

    Check where the bottles, dummies, medication etc is stored and how they are labled. I heard about a mix up at a child care centre where a child was given a formula bottle instead of EBM.

    Lastly, ask them when they were accreditted and how long they got.
    Maximum for a good centre is 3 years. If they only got one year it means that there's a lot of work needing to be done in the running of the centre, the stuff that isnt obvious to parents who come in to see it.

    I find with a child care centre its kind of a gut instinct thing once you walk in as to whether you would be happy with it or not. Remeber that just because one centre looks nice doesnt mean its the best centre.

    Sorry to rave on for so long!!

  3. #3
    ok take 2 of going back to work.....

    Nov 2004
    Giving the gift of life to a friend..

    When I was returning to work Maddy was almost 3 & I went to about 4 Child Cares Centres, 3 of them had young girls around 14-15 yrs of age working there & the kids were scattered around the rooms asleep, I felt sick & cried & walked out! Maddy did not seem to mind as Lion King was on the video & sat down to watch it, but I was not leaving my precious child with a slob looking woman & a 14 yr old kid!
    The other I went to was Council run & looked terrific, but expensive & then luckily a girlfriend offered to have her everyday to play with her 3 kids!

    With this one it looks like Mum will have it & Maddy before & after school...