Deciding if day care is the right thing for your child and your family can feel like a significant decision, but you can rest assured that it’s a very popular choice for Australian families. Almost half of children under the age of five and 30% of children under the age of 12 attend approved child care in Australia. Day care enables parents to find time and succeed in their professional roles – but most importantly, it provides each child the opportunity to socialise, play, develop and thrive in an ideal learning environment.
Does day care make a difference to children’s development?
Early life can matter a great deal; the first 1,000 days of a child’s life alone help to set the foundations for future wellbeing, health, learning and development. Research has shown that attending a quality education and care service prior to school can lead to better educational, health and employment outcomes throughout life. The key word here is quality, as children attending higher quality care show greater cognitive function, language development and school readiness.
In Australia, the national benchmark for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services is the National Quality Standard (NQS). A high quality child care provider such as Aurrum Kids will be committed to providing the right space, expertise and curriculum for each child to develop their self-esteem, resilience and learning and development.
Is it safe to send children to day care during COVID-19?
This decision is of course a deeply personal one, but you should feel assured that your provider has the adequate protections and considerations in place for your child’s health, safety and wellbeing. For example, at Aurrum Kids we have a COVID-19 Management Plan in place for each centre, and operate in accordance with the Australian Government’s publication Staying Healthy – Preventing Infectious Diseases in Early Childhood Education and Care Services.
What does quality child care entail?
There are some important aspects to look for in a high quality child care provider, as identified and measured by the National Quality Standard. These aspects include:
- Educational program and practice
Educational programs and practice should be child-centred, stimulating and maximise the potential for children’s learning and development. At Aurrum Kids we maintain a thoughtful curriculum based on the Reggio Emilia approach. Children are encouraged to learn through their play, socialisation and curiosity.
- Children’s health and safety
Each child’s safety, health and wellbeing is always paramount. This is ensured by both experienced caregivers and the appropriate physical child care environment.
- Physical environment
We take a great deal of care when planning our purpose-built child care environments. These spaces are warm, welcoming, safe and provide a rich and diverse range of experiences to promote children’s learning and development: from gardening and cooking amenities, to all-weather play areas.
- Staffing arrangements
Staff members of a quality child care provider will be experienced and qualified. Our own team members are carefully selected for their expertise, and their passion and dedication are key as we deliver exceptional child care.
- Relationships with children
As outlined by the National Quality Standard, educators’ relationships with children should be responsive, respectful and promote children’s sense of security and belonging. Here at Aurrum Kids our own educators maintain warm, welcoming relationships that encourage children to blossom.
- Collaborative partnerships with families and communities
Community is so important. We maintain a close collaborative partnership with families and the wider community. We are also so fortunate at Aurrum Kids to be able to offer rewarding intergenerational experiences with older Australians, as we are partnered by Aurrum Aged Care.
- Governance and leadership
You should always feel confident in the leadership and governance capabilities of your child care provider, with a focus on continual improvement.