|Things to Consider When Choosing Child Care|
Families seeking quality care for children are encouraged to consider what the best questions to ask are and what to look for in an accredited child care service. When choosing child care it is important to look at how carers and staff interact with the children and whether the atmosphere is warm, friendly and welcoming. Some additional questions you might like to ask are:
- Am I welcome to visit my child at any time?
- Is my child made to feel welcome?
- Are family members encouraged to participate in activities?
- Is information shared between the staff, carers and families?
- Is information readily available about the child care service's policies?
- Are families informed about proposed changes to policies?
- Is there a planned program of day to day activities for my child?
- Am I encouraged to talk to staff or carers about the program/s offered?
Do the activities interest my child? Will my child have opportunities for self expression, self direction and self discipline? Are meal or snack times pleasant? Will my child's individual needs be met? Are there opportunities for my child to become familiar with the broader community? Are the children encouraged to explore and take on new challenges? Are the equipment and play spaces safe for children? Are there clear procedures for raising any concerns I may have?
(Extract from National Childcare Accreditation Council web site www.ncac.gov.au )
Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations:Early Childhood pages
Information for Childcare centres and families about:
- Child Care for Families: Important information about child care for families.
- Early Childhood Education:Links to a range of important early childhood education initiatives.
- Child Care for Services:A comprehensive range of information on the support available for child care services.
Child Care Access Hotline
For up-to-date information on child care services in your area, the types of care available and government help with the cost of care
Phone: 1800 670 305
National Childcare Accreditation Council
Follow the links to Families and Children > Support for Families > Choosing Quality Child Care for information on how to choose a quality service for your child. Each fact sheet is available in a large range of community languages - see the language links at the bottom of the page.
Care for Kids
A website that provides information and contact details for parents looking for child care services. Includes a Vacancy Super Search and a facility to register free of charge for a vacancy alert. Also has a library of childcare articles and resources for parents.
Community Services (formerly DOCS - Department of Community Services)
Working to support and protect children, and help build strong families and communities to raise those children
Find out about the types of care available, how to choose the right care for your child and situation, and supporting children with additional needs.
Brochure also available in six community languages: Arabic, Chinese, Croatian, Macedonian, Turkish, Vietnamese.
Illawarra Multicultural Services
Children's Services Switchboard
A free information service to assist parents/carers to make informed decisions about child care.
Tel: (02) 9557 0900 or Freecall: 1800 803 820