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Selecting a Day Care

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I'm in the process of looking for day care options for when I return to work. My baby will be just under 12 months (literally by 2 weeks). It has been an overwhelming experience as I face the fact that no longer will I be with my little guy 24/7. In fact, for 8 hours a day, 3 days a week (yes, I'm fortunate enough to be able to work part time), I'm leaving him in the hands of complete strangers (alas qualified and very capable and experienced strangers). 


The thought of this terrifies me. But I know that thousands of kids go each day, they love the social factor of it, and the fun variety of activities. It's really probably just me (although I hope I'm not the only one!) that is dealing with anxiety over this new process. 


Anyways, in order to ensure I am 10000000% comfortable with leaving my child there, I have developed a set of questions that I think might help with the selection process. 


These are: 


  • what times does the centre open and close?
  • How many rooms are there?
  • How many children and staff per room?
  • What will be my fees before and after CCR/CCB?
  • Do I need to pay for public holidays?
  • If I am late picking my child up, what are the fees?
  • Is there a transition period where my child can attend for a couple of hours to get use to the centre?
  • If I would like to pick my child up routinely early, is that ok?
  • Do I get any 'make up' days if my child has a day off?
  • Are meals included? If so, which meals and what are they? (Some provide breakfast and afternoon tea)
  • What programs do you offer? 
  • Does your centre engage in festivities ? (Easter hat parade and other Cultural/religious events, grandparents day, end of year concerts, etc.)
  • Are there any additional opt-in programs my child can participate in? (Some centres have dance classes, karate, soccer and language classes you can pay extra for)
  • Do you provide nappies? What type do you use?
  • Am I able to supply breast milk? If so, how would you like it stored and labelled?
  • Do you provide a journal through an app or email so I can see what my child did each day?
  • Will I get a sleep/eating log?
  • Is linen provided, or do I need to provide my own?
  • What do I need to pack for my child each day? (Haven't got a day care bag or name labels yet? I'm LOVING these).
  • What's your policy on vaccinations?
  • What's your policy on illnesses
  • Will you alert me if there is any contagious sicknesses going around the centre? 
  • In what situations will you contact me?
  • Do you have volunteers at the centre, Including parent- volunteers? Do they have WWCC?
  • Are you experienced with working with children who have (allergy/special needs, etc.)
  • My child regularly attends an allied health service (speech/OT), are they able to visit the centre to talk to staff? 
  • If I have a question or concern, who would I talk to? 
  • What is the waiting list like?
  • Why should I choose your centre? 


I've also been clued in to the idea that instead of attending open days (where everything is perfect) attend on a regular day so that you can see the centre in action. It's even better if you do not have to arrange a time to attend and can just drop in whenever. Viewing the centre in its natural setting is definitely ideal. 





Have I covered everything? Obviously not all of those questions will be applicable for every child, but is there anything I have missed? 



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