When choosing an early learning service, it is important to look at how the educators interact with the children and whether the service has a warm, friendly atmosphere.
Some things parents often find helpful to consider are:
▢ Is the building clean, tidy and well maintained?
▢ What are the learning environments like both indoors and outdoors?
- ▢ Aesthetically pleasing.
- ▢ Warm, nurturing, stimulating.
▢ Is there plenty of space?
▢ Is there plenty of shade outside?
▢ Are the educators friendly and well presented (look and act professionally).
▢ Did the educators greet you and your child warmly?
▢ Ask if there is an open door policy, can you come and be part of your child’s learning at any given time?
Ask about the Centre’s Educational Programs and how the educators document your child’s learning. The Centre should have a weekly curriculum and an overview of the daily learning experiences available for the parents to view.
▢ Does the Centre follow the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and the Queensland Kindergarten Guidelines (QKGL)?
▢ Ask for examples of the type of experiences/activities your child will be involved in during a day.
▢ Is there a variety of age appropriate educational materials?
▢ Are the educators engaging positively with the children in their care?
▢ Is there a balance between indoor and outdoor play?
The Early Learning Service
▢ Has the service been reviewed under the National Quality Standards? If so, what was the rating?
▢ What is the alternative Menu for Allergies / Religious beliefs etc.?
▢ Ask to see a copy of the Centre’s nutritionally balanced Menu.
▢ Ask about the level of qualifications of the Educators and whether the educators are Fulltime, Part-time or casual? How long have the educators been working at the Centre? Consistency in the educators team is best.
▢ What are the Centres Health and Safety Procedures? What happens if your child becomes sick?
▢ What happens if there is an illness in the Centre?
▢ What happens in the event where your child may have an accident/injury?
▢ What are the daily fees and what is inclusive in these fees?
▢ How are these fees to be paid to the Centre?
▢ What are the hours of operations and which days of the year the Centre will be closed?
▢ Ask about the Centre’s orientation process for you and your family?
▢ Find out about whether the Centre can meet your family’s needs i.e. religious, cultural, and medical.
▢ Overall, what is your instinct telling you? Do you feel welcome and comfortable to spend time in the Centre?