By Carol Stovold
Parents choose their childcare options for many reasons some good and some not. Choosing the wrong type of childcare on the basis of cost or convenience can create a stressful situation for both the child and the family. But how do you choose and what do you base this on? Below are some of the common pitfalls that can occur.
This is always a factor when choosing childcare for your child. However choosing simply because it is close to home or work, without firstly determining whether the care will meet your child and your family needs, can create some problems. Parents need to ensure that the childcare provides the right environment that is safe, has primary care for under 3’s, offers hours that suit both parent and child, and other quality criteria. Once these are met the location, if close to home or work, becomes a secondary bonus and not the number one consideration!
Prestige or Size
Some parents choose a service because it is the biggest provider or has been granted an award. Size and prestige is not a reliable indicator of quality, it may simply mean that they have more money to spend on advertising or market themselves more cleverly than others. All services provide different aspects of quality for children in different ways. A service may choose to spend more money on its teachers, resources or equipment rather than advertising. The larger a service becomes it can often be more about the structure of the business than necessarily about what is best for children. Some children thrive very well in large environments whilst the same environment may make others withdrawn. What makes any service great is if it works for your family.
See next page for two more common pitfalls parents make when choosing a childcare provider…