For many families today childcare plays a vital role in helping to balance work and family life. Childcare enables parents to return to work or education and help build a future for their family. However, choosing childcare can also be a time of conflicting emotions, especially for first time Mums and Dads.
With this in mind, it’s important to remember that quality childcare will open up a range of exciting and positive experience for your little one. Your child will discover new ways of having fun, make their first friends and socialise on a daily basis with other children. With the right childcare provider your little one will engage with a world of creative, messy and musical activities and find a warm and nurturing home from home.
Finding suitable childcare can feel daunting at first, so be sure to allow enough time so that all the options can be considered.Most crèches will be happy to arrange for a visit, and it’s well worth the effort. At Giraffe, we’re really proud of our team and our settings and are keen to show you around and help get a sense of what your child’s day will be like should you choose Giraffe.
At our crèches you’ll find children engaged and busy, engaging in a whole range of activities in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. You’ll have a chance to meet with our carers and manager.
During your visit we can arrange for you to have quick informal chat with other parents so that you can get their perspective. Indeed, one of the added advantages of childcare is the support network that develops as Mums and Dads sharing the same experiences meet every day.
Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you need to but as a rough guide, consider asking the following when you visit:
- Could I meet the staff who will be caring for my child on a daily basis?
- What is your settling-in policy and how many settling-in days do you offer?
- What are the daily routines and how can you incorporate my child’s and other children’s routines?
- Where will my child sleep?
- Do you have qualified first aiders in the crèche and are staff qualifications available to view?
- How much on-going training do carers undertake?
- What is your sickness policy?
- Do you have a cook on site and will my child’s weaning and dietary requirements be supported?
- Are all staff Garda vetted?
- Can I view the outdoor play area and how often do children play outside?
- Do the babies go outside?
- What is the staff ratio to children and how many children do you care for?
- Do you have a curriculum and is it age and stage appropriate?
- Will I get regular feedback on my child’s day?
- What are the opening hours?
- Are there part-time care opportunities?
- Does the crèche offer family discount for siblings?
It’s important that you feel secure with your decision. Above all you should be confident that you are entrusting your child to trained and experienced staff who’ll respond to your child’s needs, comfort them and keep them safe. Perhaps the best way to help you decide is to do your research, talk to other parents and then follow your gut feeling. So please, come and have a look for yourself and arrange a visit to your closest crèche.