Educational Opportunities: A Guide

Types of Child Care

In Australia, there are two main types of childcare centres, long day care and casual day care.

Long Day Care

Long day care is more suited to those parents who work long hours from morning to evening. In these centres, children have a set routine throughout the day where they also get time to take a nap and are provided with healthy nutritious meals. Parents who wish to send their children to this type of childcare centre should ensure that they check the centre's environment, learning experiences offered and type of meals offered. Many children have specific dietary requirements such as nut-free and vegetarian food options. In this case, the centre needs to be notified of these specific requirements.

Casual Day Care

Casual day care centres operate only for a certain time period during the day and are more suited to parents who work casual hours. In this type of child care centre children are involved in play-based learning at the centre under the supervision of educators. Children are required to bring their own lunch boxes as food is usually not provided at the centre, parents can choose to send their children any number of days they desire. 

Other factors to consider

In addition to selecting the type of day care centre, there are also additional things to take into consideration. Parents should take their time to schedule trial days at different child care centres they have shortlisted. This is where the child attends the centre for a few hours under the supervision of the parent. Parents can take this opportunity to assess the suitability of the child care centre for their child. They should observe how comfortable their child is at the centre, friendliness of educators as well as the variety of learning experiences offered at the centre. A child care centre is where a child has their first learning and social experiences. Parents should see whether the centre offers a variety of resources to facilitate their child's learning experience. These include toys, sensory objects, arts and crafts and a functional but safe play area. Furthermore, parents should observe the cleanliness of the centre and the measures used to ensure that their child is safe such as security doors and CCTV footage.

Choosing a childcare centre is not an easy task for any parent, this is why it is vital they take their time to choose the best one for their specific requirements.