Some people confuse early learning centres with daycare. While the two are similar, they are not exactly the same. A quality early learning centre focuses on education as well as play, offering children both a safe refuge and a place where they can start learning some of the basics, getting the child school-ready.
So you’ve decided you want to enrol your child or children in an early learning centre. That’s a great decision, but how do you go about finding the right early learning centre for your needs, so you have peace of mind knowing your children are not only being cared for but discovering important knowledge at the same time?
This post will guide you through some tips on how to choose the right early learning centre for you and your children.
Is the Centre Offering More Than Just Daycare?
There’s nothing wrong with leaving your kids in a daycare centre, but if the goal is to start educating them at a very young age, then you’ll want to be certain the centre you’re considering has an education program attached rather than just playtime.
Thoroughly reading through the information on their website is one way to ascertain this, but the best method would be to actually pay a visit to the centre, be shown around and ask questions about what they actually do there on a day to day basis.
There’s nothing like seeing things first-hand to know for sure. You’ll also get a feel for the staff and the atmosphere.
Perform An Online Search For Your Area
Naturally, you’ll want to find an early learning centre that’s conveniently located as well as good quality. The easiest way to do this is to search online, to begin with. Using the Central Coast area of Kariong as an example, simply search terms like the following on Google or Bing:
- child early learning centre Kariong
- Early learning centre Kariong
- Child care Kariong
Searches like these will give you a good selection of centres in your area to investigate further, where you can create a shortlist of the best options and check those out in greater detail.
Does the Centre Offer a School Readiness Program?
Depending on which state you live in, a school readiness program will likely differ. Using NSW as an example, you’ll want to choose a child early learning centre that offers both the THRASS program and the STEM program.
THRASS is all about teaching kids reading, spelling and handwriting skills, while STEM covers science, technology, engineering and maths.
The learning is all presented in a fun way that young children can relate to, while at the same time equipping them with the confidence and skills to tackle the school years ahead.
Another key point you’ll want to look for is whether the centre has a focus of developing positive social skills among the children, as this is just as important as learning fundamentals in school subjects.
Choose An Early Learning Centre That Focuses On a Healthy Environment
The first thing to note is whether healthy meals are provided for the children each day, and are the meals included in the cost of the childcare.
Some early learning centres take the subject of healthy food beyond just what’s served for lunch by actually teaching kids how to grow organic vegetables in on-site veggie gardens. This is one of the very best ways to teach children about healthy food but also empowers them with life skills where they know how to grow their own food.
Along with this they also learn more about the environment, looking after the planet and gain an understanding of where food comes from, other than the supermarket.
A Fun Learning Environment Is Offered
Kids just want to have fun at the end of the day, so the more focus there is on fun in the early learning centre you choose, the better. Fun combined with rudimentary education is a winning combination.
If children are having a good time they’re far more likely to learn and grow. No type of daycare centre should be all work and no play.
Childhood early learning centres are more than just daycare centres. They help equip children to better handle the school years ahead. Keep in mind the tips in this post when trying to decide on the right early learning centre for your kids.