Going back to work and leaving your little one in the care of someone else is always a daunting task. For first time mothers it can be traumatic as they need to deal with separating themselves from their child and they also worry about missing out on important milestones. Choosing the right crèche can help ease the transition and also ensure your baby gets the care that’s right for them. So how do you choose the right crèche, here are our top five pointers:
1) Talk to Neighbours
Local Advice is definitely the best advice, fellow neighbours will have children who are currently in a crèche or young children that have been through the process already. The best part about this is that you will hear the good with the bad. If there are any issues or bad reviews about a crèche your neighbours will know. Listen to all advice and then make a list of potential crèches to view.
2) Visit the Crèche
It is recommended that parents view at least three crèches before making a decision. Each visit should cover the basics, but you will find some crèches will be more open and give you better access to areas such as the kitchen, office etc. Arrange a visit at a time where your child is not tired and is ready to play, it will allow you to see how your child reacts to the crèche and to the staff.
3) Ask Questions
Ensure you have questions ready to ask its important to find out as much as you can, common questions you can ask are about ratios of staff to babies (should be 3:1) , food menus, daily activities, staff training and turn over, staff qualifications, sick policy, fees, settling in routine, and flexibility with drop off and collection.
4) Additional Research
Once you have narrowed down your choice to one or two crèches, you will need to do additional research. Use online forums, Facebook reviews or parents of children currently attending the crèche. Most crèches will also have a handbook, ask for a copy, it will detail all procedures and policies that the crèche has in place in relation to birthdays and development to accidents and emergencies. This is very informative, it will help in the final decision
5) Enrol and Prepare
Having made a decision on a crèche, you will be given a schedule for a “settling in” week. The staff will organise for your little one to attend for a few hours a day to build up to the first full day in crèche. These few hours will allow your child to meet their new friends and careers. It will also give Mammy some time to adjust to being alone for a few hours and to prepare for returning to work.
Choosing a crèche is a hard process and one that causes dread for many parents, the most important advice is to go with your gut and to be comfortable with the staff. It should feel like a home from home for your child and you should be confident leaving your child there.
Top image from cutestarcreche.com