Child Care and Children's Programs
Suggestions when choosing a child-care centre
Do not be afraid to ask questions.
- Ask to see the centre's license and make sure that it is up-to-date.
- Ask about the qualifications of the staff and the staff/child ratio. Do a count yourself to make sure. Observe the interactions between the children and the staff. Are they warm and nurturing? Is there a relaxed and flexible atmosphere?
- Talk to the staff about their methods of behaviour management. Are you comfortable with them?
- Check to see whether there is a variety of toys and equipment. Are they safe, well-maintained and appropriate for the age of the children using them?
- Look at the weekly menu to ensure that the meals are wholesome and nutritious. Is the kitchen clean and hygienic?
- What are the hours of operation?
Some centres employ all qualified staff. However, the “Child Care and Early Years Act” states there must be a ratio of:
- One staff to three children under 18 months of age (group size 10).
- One staff to five children between 18 and 30 months of age (group size 15).
- One staff to eight children between 31 months and five years of age (group size 16).
- One staff to 13 children more than five years of age and less than six years (group size 26).
- One staff to 15 children between six years of age and 12 years (group size 30).
- One staff to 20 children between 9 years or older but younger than 13 years (group size 20).
Note: One trained staff person must be employed for each group of children.