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How To Choose The Right Childcare For Your Child

Returning to work after maternity leave can be tough enough as it is, but when you have to make the decision of who is going to look after your child while you are at work, it can suddenly become very daunting. After all, they are the most precious thing in the world to you – how are you supposed to know who to trust and what to look for in a childcare provider?

While everyone will want different things from a childcare provider – some will want forest schools, others will want ones that follow a Montesorri approach, others will want a setting that prepares their child for school – there are some things that will almost always remain the same, and that is what we are going to look at here.


#1 Experienced and skilled staff

First things first, check that the nursery or childminder is registered with OFSTED. If they are not, they are operating illegally, so that is immediately a no-no! You can, of course, look at their OFSTED reports, but remember, they only show a snapshot of what the setting was like during that visit. By all means, look, but take into consideration your gut instincts too. How experienced are the staff? While everyone has to start somewhere, if they are inexperienced, do they have the support of more qualified staff. Ask them about things such as acecqa ratings and how they deal with them.


#2 How are they interacting with children?

Look at how they are interacting with both the children in the setting and your child – assuming you have gone on a tour. If they are getting down to their level, talking to them, making eye contact, and making them feel at ease, that is a good sign. Look around – do the children look happy and are they being played with and engaged? Obviously, not every child will have an adult with them all of the time, but children on their own doing nothing might be a red flag.


#3 Do they encourage independence in the children?

They are only young, so you are not expecting them to be cooking their own meals, but it is important that a childcare setting encourages children to take steps towards being independent where possible. Are they encouraged to put their own coats and shoes on or is automatically done for them? Are solutions given straight to them when they have a problem, or do the staff help them to think of their own way to solve the issue? 


#4 What does your gut instinct tell you?

We mentioned this above, but it is such a powerful thing that it deserves its own point. On paper, a childcare setting could tick all of the boxes but if something does not sit quite right with you or your gut is telling you to look elsewhere, it is definitely worth listening to. 

Choosing the right childcare setting can be tricky, and sometimes it takes a while to do, but these tips should give you a great place to start from. 


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