Child care centres offer balanced programs of activities for infants, toddlers, preschool and school-age children. Children learn and grow while making friends with other children of the same age.

Advantages of Centre Based Child Care

There are a number of advantages in Centre Based Child Care:

  • must be licensed
  • staff include professionals with training in Early Childhood Education
  • behavior management is in place for staff
  • activities are designed for children at different stages of development
  • the environment is monitored for hazards, ex. playground checks, health and safety checks
  • toys and playground equipment are age-appropriate and are chosen with the safety and enjoyment of children in mind

Questions for the Director/Supervisor

Before deciding if a Centre is right for you, you might want to ask a few questions:

  • How long have the staff (the director or supervisor and child care professionals) been working there? (High staff turnover rate may be cause for concern if it leads to ongoing disruption and instability for the children.)
  • How does the centre communicate with parents? Are there regular parent newsletters, progress reports, parent meetings or informal parent visits?
  • How many children are there per staff member?
  • Include questions about the qualifications of the staff members who will care for your child. Research shows that when staff have training in early childhood education or child development, the care they provide is likely to be of higher quality than the care provided by untrained individuals.

Observe the surroundings:

  • Is the centre clean and bright?
  • Is there enough space indoors and outdoors to move around and play?
  • Are there any unpleasant odours?
  • Look at the toys. Are there enough? Is there a variety? Are they clean, in good repair, and suited to the ages and interest of the children?
  • Is the equipment and furniture clean and in good repair?
  • Is the sleeping area adequate?
  • Check the kitchen area. Is the food stored, prepared, and served to the children in a healthy manner? Are the menus posted?
  • Is the license posted? If the license is yellow (provisional), ask whether or not the provisional license is due to health and/or safety issues.
  • A provisional license means the program has not met all the minimum requirements.