What to consider when choosing a early childhood service?
There are lots of wonderful early childhood options available in New Zealand that each offer something different and unique to their community. When looking for an early childhood service, there can be lots of options to choose from. It can be helpful to narrow down the options in helping to make your decision:
You could check to see what early childhood services are available in your area and ask other parents or families. Other parents often have first-hand experience, and can be a great source of information. At Wellington Childcare we are really proud of our recommendations from our families- you can check these out in our parent and whānau testimonials under each Centre.
Once you have made a shortlist of services, you can look over their website and social media pages to learn about their philosophies and other practical information. It’s important that you support your research with an in-person visit to the centre as well. This gives you a great opportunity to have a full look around the classrooms and playgrounds, to meet with the teachers, ask as many questions as you like, to get a feel for the centre.
Other questions that can be important for your family and whānau may include:
- Location- will it be easy to drop my child off before work?
- Hours of operation: what time do they open and close? Are they open during school/term holidays?
- Cost: is it affordable? How do the subsidies work?
- Parental involvement- how can you be involved? How can we work together? Do you want to attend with your child, or do you need to drop them off? Do you want to have a say in how the service is run?
- Services offered: are meals provided or do you need to bring a lunchbox? What about nappies and other supplies?
- Teachers and other educators- who works with the children? Are they trained?
- Children- how many other children attend? How do we support individual children and their interests and needs?
- Routines and activities: what does a normal day look like for your child?
The Ministry of Education has also put together a useful page on tips for parents in choosing an early childhood service: https://parents.education.govt.nz/early-learning/your-child-at-ece/choosing-an-ece-service/
Please fill out our Enrolment Enquiries form and we will get in touch with you via email or phone to confirm we have received your request. Our administrators are early childhood trained teachers and will support your family alongside our Managers in answering all of questions to make sure you find the right fit for your family. We acknowledge and respect that choosing an early childhood service for your child is a big decision and we want you to feel comfortable and happy knowing that your child will be safe, engaged and having fun!
We encourage you to visit with your child to help introduce and settle your child into the Centre. During this time you can discuss your child’s needs, learn about our early childhood programme based on Te Whariki and about our policies. It’s also a great opportunity to meet with our teachers.