When it comes to choosing the right daycare in Cape Town, there are certain factors that you can look at before making your final decision.
Knowing what to look for in a daycare will help you make the best decision for your child. Regardless of how much time your child will spend at daycare, you still want them to be at the best centre possible.
How to choose the right daycare in Cape Town
There are certain signs of a good daycare that you can look out for while making your decision. It’s important that you ask questions and remain aware of any signs that the daycare is not the right place for your child.
What to look for in a daycare
One of the best ways to find the right daycare is to listen to what people are saying. Ask fellow parents and friends for feedback on their child’s daycare centre.
Based on these tips, pay the relevant daycare centres a visit. You want to be welcomed into a warm and friendly environment that offers your child the nurturing attention he or she needs and deserves.
You can also ask the centre for the contact details of current parents so you can call them and request references. This way, you will know if this is the right daycare for your child.
- Solid, well-established ground rules
Although it’s important for the daycare to be flexible, it’s equally important that they have established ground rules for every aspect of their facility. These ground rules include everything from operating hours to lunch time as well as how to handle emergencies.
Request a copy of the daycare’s policies is given to you either in writing or on email. Sick policies are also important. Find out exactly which illnesses call for your child to stay at home and for how long.
Although it may sometimes be inconvenient for your child to stay at home, strict sick child policies are a way to prevent the spread of illness among children and staff.
Furthermore, if one of the daycare’s rules is that parents are not allowed to visit the centre unannounced, it’s likely that there is something to hide. A good daycare will have an open-door policy, encouraging parents to visit and become part of the community wherever possible.
- A curriculum that is stimulating
The main purpose of a daycare centre is to stimulate a child on a physical and intellectual level. It’s all about childhood development and the daycare centre should allocate a reasonable amount of time for physical activity, down or quiet time, lunch time as well as play time.
Be wary of daycare centres that offer hours of TV or video time. Unless they provide your child with a short, educational video to watch, excessive screen time is not what you want your child to be exposed to as it does not stimulate intellectual development.
You also want a centre that has a wide variety of educational, age-appropriate toys that stimulate your child’s development and encourages problem-solving and imaginative play. These things form part of healthy childhood development.
- Well-trained staff who care about your child
Daycare centres should have staff who are highly trained and qualified in the field. This is an advantage over choosing home daycare or personal caregivers for your child.
You want the caretakers to be trained in childhood development as well as basic paediatric first aid and other emergency training. You want to know that your child is in safe hands should there be an emergency.
Furthermore, observe how the staff interact with and treat the children. Caretakers should be enthusiastic, attentive and responsible. You want staff to share the same approach to the importance of sleep, meal times and discipline.
Staff who genuinely care will ask details about your child’s health status including any special needs areas, food allergies or physical disabilities so they can advise you if theirs is the right daycare centre for your child.
Also, it’s important that there is the right ratio of caretakers to children. This ensures that every child gets the attention and care that they need.
Some centres provide at least one cooked meal per day and request that you send snacks with for your child to have in between. Check what kind of food the centre provides your child – do they cover all food groups? Do they take into consideration your child’s food allergies?
Additionally, if they do not have a policy in place that discourages you to send junk food and sugary foods with your child, this indicates that a healthy diet is not important to them. A healthy diet is crucial for your child’s physical and cognitive development.
- Facilities that are clean and safe
You want a daycare that is hygienic and safe. All facilities such as kitchen, bathrooms, corridors and class or play rooms should be clean. The building should be spacious and well-lit and ventilated.
There should be basic health and safety standards in place, making sure that unnecessary injury is prevented at all costs. Medicine and other hazardous substances should be kept far out of reach of the children and the outdoor play area should be secure and well-maintained.
Fire extinguishers and first aid kits should be available and accessible at all times.
Choosing the right daycare in Cape Town – Kay Dee Educare Centre in Mowbray
Kay-Dee is an established daycare in Cape Town which is highly focused on all aspects related to childhood development. We care about your child and aim to offer them the highest quality care possible. Contact us to find out more about our centre’s approach to holistic daycare for your child.