Many things can confuse and overwhelm parents. For example, when is the best time to send your children to school? What is kindergarten daycare? To narrow down your choices and make better decisions for your kids, here are four essential questions to ask:
1. What is the difference between daycare and kindergarten?
Both daycare and kindergarten are forms of childcare services that may be provided by non-profit or for-profit centres across Australia.
Daycare centres focus mostly on tending to the needs of the child at certain periods. They are usually available for toddlers and school-age children. Some may accept kids up to 12 years old.
Kindergarten, meanwhile, is already prep school. It means it is equipping the child with the skills and mindset before they enter into regular school. In Queensland, it’s ideal for children who will turn 4 years old by 30th of June during the year to start kindy.
These are two separate programmes, but it’s not impossible to find other kindergarten daycare centre that combines the two services.
2. What is long daycare centre?
Day care centres can operate at different hours during the week. Some of them may tend to your children up to four hours a day. You will also come across those that offer up to 50 hours each week, which are known long daycare centres. These are ideal for parents who may have full-time work throughout the week.
Not all centres will provide this type of service, though. Make sure you search for ‘long daycare centers near me’ online. Non-profit community services, such as Lady Gowrie in Queensland, also have one.
3. How do you look for a kindergarten daycare programme?
You can consider the following tips when searching for the right programme and site for your child:
- Know the programme they’re using. Most centres, including Lady Gowrie, follow the early years learning framework (EYLF) of the government. Queensland also has a list of kindergarten-approved programmes.
- Check out for kinder day care vacancies. A kinder day care vacancy list can give you some ideas about the types of facilitators or educators they have. It’s essential that they are qualified professionals. It also matters even if your choice is family based, wherein you leave your kid in a home instead of in a centre.
- Determine the environment. Look at the facilities they offer, including open spaces. How about the atmosphere? Does it feel secure and friendly? Some centres allow parents to mingle with their children, educators, and other parents once in a while.
4. Is it mandatory to send a child to kindergarten?
No, it’s not mandatory or compulsory to enrol a child in either kindergarten or daycare, but studies made it clear that early childhood education is beneficial.
For example, a 2018 study by a reputable university revealed that this programme can increase the chance of higher educational achievement such as a master’s degree by midlife. It also instils that not only skills, but also values, will make them more responsible, well-rounded, and good children and members of society.
Don’t miss the opportunity to let others help you raise a wonderful, amazing child. Consider signing them up for kindergarten or other related services in Queensland.