I am in the very fortunate position to be employed…and at the same time in the very unfortunate position of having to look for a daycare / nursery school for my little one when I return to work. I say unfortunate because who looks forward to leaving that sweet little baby with somebody else 🙁 Below a few tips (in very random order as anything and everything about the school you end up choosing is equally important!)Location Location Location – Choose a school in an area preferably close to your work, but also close enough to medical facilities. This way if there is ever any sort of emergency (I know we all hope to never receive that dreaded call but that is reality) you are close enough to get there quickly, but should your little one be transported for emergency medical care it should not take forever. Unfortunately sometimes we cant have both, in which case I would always choose the latter.
2. Qualifications – Always make sure the people you trust to take care of your child are trained to do so. One very important qualification I always look for is first aid, not just your normal first aid qualification but Infant CPR & First Aid. There is a huge difference between treating a choking adult and treating a choking infant!
3. Premises – Always, always do a site visit before choosing a school. I cannot emphasize how important this is! Keep in mind that your child will most probably be there for a while, so you need to check out play areas, toilets and kitchens to make sure its clean. I prefer a school with a Certificate of Acceptability from the Department of Health. Pay attention to the smells…this should give you a very clear indication of their level of cleanliness and sanitation.
4. Staff – Look at the staff and how the children react to them. This is one of the reasons why a site visit is so important! If you find a lot of happy children,laughing and playing and just in general loud…you hit the jackpot 🙂 muddy faces are a bonus 🙂 When all the children are extremely clean, quite and sitting in a straight row run run run!
5. Your Gut Feeling – Last but not least…trust your gut feeling! If something feels off, its because it probably is!