In 2020, about 45.1% of children between zero and five and 31.8% of children between zero and twelve benefitted from childcare services. Their popularity will grow in the future, and with good reasons.
Parents favour these services over a nanny or homecare because of the quality childcare and exciting learning opportunities they provide. Under the supervision of educators, they develop social, cognitive, and other skills which help them later in life.
Further, these centres provide the right environment for the child’s mental and physical growth. They have a positive aura, various opportunities for games and activities, and a structured routine, all of which help the child get the best start in life.
But what are the exciting learning opportunities that these facilities offer, and what makes them places of high quality? Why should you consider putting your child in them? Read on to get the answers to these questions.
What does quality child care mean?
It refers to the various opportunities a child has to develop mentally, physically, and emotionally in a childcare facility.
The facility should work towards building a respectful relationship with the children while offering them plenty of time for play, reading, writing, and engaging in other activities in a calm environment.
The educators working in them should help the children to utilise their potential to the fullest and develop a lifelong love of learning. Children should build resilience, vital social skills, and independence through the programs.
On what basis is it measured?
The National Quality Framework sets the standards for determining a child care’s quality. It includes several fronts, including the quality of educators, type of environment, safety practices, opportunities for outdoor and indoor play, and the type of curriculum available. Here’s a look at some of them.
The curriculum plays a significant role in determining what kind of early education the child receives. A good service provider usually divides it into nursery, toddlers, pre-kindy and kindergarten.
Each has its objectives and is appropriate for children of a specific age. For example, nurseries are meant for children between zero to two years. It’s a time when their brains develop rapidly and are highly receptive to learning new things.
Type of environment
The facility should have a welcoming, amicable, and relaxed atmosphere that puts the child at ease. It should be safe and suitable and provide a wide range of experiences encouraging their learning and development.
Children should have access to indoor and outdoor spaces. The furniture, equipment, and premises must be clean, safe, and well-maintained at all times. It should have an inclusive environment with properly organised spaces that enable every child to participate equally.
Relationships with children
A childcare provider can only claim quality when its educators develop respectful and responsive relationships with children. They should aim to have meaningful interactions and provide support to help the child feel supported and included.
Collaborative learning should be ideal, where every student helps and learns from one another.
The centre must prioritise safety practices to minimise risks and keep children out of harm’s way. They ought to promote effective illness and injury management and encourage hygienic practices. Children should know the value of healthy eating and be physically active.
Putting your little one in a centre providing quality childcare and exciting learning opportunities will prepare them for formal schooling while instilling values like empathy, cooperation, and communication skills. These are values that serve them well throughout their lives.