Choosing An Early Childhood Centre

The Facilities

 

The Centre  
 

Should be:

  • registered and have license displayed

  • secure and safe for the children

  • bright and airy

  • in good repair

  • clean and hygienic

  • warm and inviting

  • child centered.  That is, there should be child-size furniture, low displays at the eye level of the children, low toilets and sinks, mobiles, etc.

 

Should have:

  • At least 1 toilet for every 15 children

  • Separate toilets for adults

  • all electrical outlets covered when not in use.

  • Marked fire exits, extinguishers, smoke alarms and an evacuation procedure

  • Have a clean kitchen

  • A fully equipped first aid kit on the compound

  • Children’s creative expressions attractively displayed

  • 2 ½ feet of spacing between baby cribs/play pens, which will allow for ease of passage in the event of an emergency

  • One baby per crib.  That is, babies should not be sharing a crib

  • Adequate provision for indoor and outdoor play.

Activities For Children

  • Time should be allowed for a number of different activities during the day e.g. play, story telling, nap-time, art, music, physical activities.

 

  • There should be stimulation activities for babies 0-1 year.  That is, they should not be confined to a crib all day.

 

  • There should be toys and equipment for different developmental needs of the different age groups.

The Staff

Should:

 

  • Respond to children’s needs

  • Interact with the children appropriately

  • Be trained and experience

  • Include a trained and experienced supervisor

  • Conform with the registering agency children/staff ration

  • Have some basic training in first aid and in child development

Meals

If meals are offered:

 

  • They must be well-balanced

  • There should be hot water facilities at the centre

  • The menus should be displayed

  • There should be facilities for sterilising baby bottles

Policies/Procedures

Find out what is the policy on:

 

  • The collection of children

  • Children with communicable disease

  • Keeping children’s records

  • Children who become ill at the centre or have an accident

  • Breast-feeding/expression of breast milk

  • Bringing toys to the centre

  • Discipline

  • Administration of medication

  • Accepting children with disabilities

Other

  • There should be an accident insurance plan, especially for the privately-owned daycares

  • The children should appear to be happy and talkative

  • There should be a resource centre where parents can access information about various aspects of parenting, if they so desire

  • Regular Parent-Staff meetings or parenting forums should be held at the centre

 

  • The centre should ask for the appropriate details regarding your child.These are birth certificate, immunization card, diet, routines, allergies etc.