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Why quality is important
Children who experience 'quality' childcare during their formative years have much better outcomes, including transition to school, education and employment outcomes.
Finding a quality service is key to giving your child the best start.
Unfortunately, not all childcare services offer quality curriculums and programs and there are many operators that don’t even meet the industry’s National Quality Standards.
Council is a leader in quality childcare and actively participates in many childcare industry forums advocating for quality. We are passionate about all children experiencing quality childcare.
How to find quality care
When you’re looking for childcare, arm yourself with the right questions to help you assess whether the service you’re considering is a quality service.
This guide will help you on your childcare journey:
- Take a close look at Educators’ interactions with the children – are they nurturing, providing support and engaging in conversations with the children? The quality of these interactions is paramount.
- Do a visual check of the service for safety.
- Don’t become obsessed with new (e.g. new buildings, resources) – it is not an indicator of quality care. Instead, ask yourself, is everything clean? Do the children have ample space? Are they happy and engaged in play? Are there lots of interesting resources at their disposal?
- Is there ample indoor and outdoor space and resources to extend your child’s development? Look beyond the educator-to-child ratios and consider the number and ages of children in the room. Would your little one cope with 20 birth to two year olds in the one space?
- Ask about Educators’ qualifications. It’s one of the biggest indicators of quality care.
- Are the children engaged in nature-based play? Don’t just look for brightly coloured toys – they are not an indication of quality care.
- Is your child better suited to a large environment or a small group setting?
- Can additional needs such as speech or occupational therapy be supported by the service?
- Is a cook employed? Ask about the menu and nutritional requirements and inspect the kitchen. If meals are supplied, are they cooked from scratch/ fresh on the premises, or brought in?
- Ask about the service’s independent National Quality Rating. Services are independently assessed against seven quality areas by the childcare industry’s governing body. Before visiting the service and asking about their rating, you can learn more at Australian Children's Education & Care Quality Authority
- Services must follow the government’s Early Years Learning Framework. Is this mentioned in the daily program and observations of children?
- Ask about their philosophy on behaviour management. You want to hear about positive behaviour guidance and observe that in practice.
- How is separation anxiety managed? Do they allow children to cry with support and acknowledge their feelings?
- Ask about their grievance system. Does it empower parents to raise concerns? Remember this is your child and no concern is too small.
- The childcare industry is heavily legislated, with regulations and standards. Ask how the service ensures it meets, at least, the minimum standards.
Starting Blocks is a great resource, providing parents with information about early childhood education and care to help them make the best choice for their child and family.
Enquiries can be directed to Children's Services on 9710 0466 or firstname.lastname@example.org