Finding childcare can feel like a big task. If you don’t have close friends with children near you to get recommendations, then you need to take the time to go through your options. Use these five simple steps to find the best option for yourself.
- List your needs.
The best place to start is by listing all of the things you need from your childcare. This will include the hours that your child needs looking after, if you need additional services like drop-off or pick-up from school, or other activities. You then need to create a budget, and see what you can afford compared to your needs. With these all in mind, you can start searching for options in your area. A good place to start is with a Google search such as ‘kindergarten menai’ to see what’s around. You can also use this childcare finder to get additional options. Make a list of 5-10 options at most to investigate further.
- Meet or visit your shortlist.
Once you have your initial list, you can start looking at them in detail. The best option is to visit the person or organization yourself to get the best feel for it. When you’re visiting nurseries, there a few things to look for:
- The training of the staff and their ability to cater to your child’s needs
- A happy and relaxed atmosphere
- A location that’s clean and looks safe
- The staff to child ratio
- The activities that the staff have planned for the children each day
- What qualifications do the staff have?
- How do the workers discipline children that act out?
- Are meals or snacks provided?
It’s also essential to think about what your child will enjoy the most. Are they most happy when outside? Or with other children playing games? Try to find a nursery that provides these things and will give your child a rich experience.
- Check their ratings.
Once you’ve found somewhere that looks promising, it’s always worth digging a bit deeper into the company online. Most nurseries and childcare groups operate as a business and need to be formally registered. This can be checked online, and you can check their most recent audits for any issues.
- Get a reference.
Another way to check the quality of a childcare provider is to ask the other parents for a reference. They have had direct contact with the nursery and will be able to give you a potentially more accurate representation of what they are like to work with. Try to get at least two or three references to get a full picture of what the nursery is like.
- Book your child in.
Once you’ve made your decision, it’s time to book a place. Try not to take too long as places may book out quickly, especially for popular and well-reviewed options. Remember that it will take some time for your child to get used to the new environment, so give them time to get settled in.