More questions to ask an early learning service
You should be asking them whatever you need to know in order to find out if they will provide the service you require for your child. Questions might include: How many children are enrolled? What qualifications do the educators have? Are the educators regularly trained? What learning programmes are in place? What age can children start? Are babies welcome? How are the needs of different children met? How do they help children settle in? How do they deal with difficult behaviours in children? What is the daily routine? Can children sleep when they want to or are their set sleep times? What happens if a child is sick or has an accident? What input do parents have in the service? What do they expect of parents? How much does it cost? Are they open during school holidays? Do they provide transport, snacks and lunch etc?
What are some of the questions to be asking as a family?
Some of the questions you should be asking as a family include how long do you want your child to attend? What kind of service do you want? What fees can you afford? What location is best for you? What suits your needs and your child’s needs? Do you want your child to be looked after at home or at a centre? Do you want your child to attend with or without you? Do you want your child to be part of a big group or a small group? How involved do you want to be involved in your child’s formal education? What hours suit you? Are you looking for a service which offers lots of structure or lots of free play?
Will my child do better at school if they attend an early learning centre for longer hours?
Dr Sarah Farquhar has looked at the research and believes that children attending full-time early learning/childcare as compared to part-time (around 12.5 hours per week or 2.5 hour sessions) do not have significantly better developmental outcomes. “In other words, it is the experience of attending a group early childhood programme that matters, and more time in the programme does not equal greater benefits for children.”
If my child is in an ECE centre most of the week, will they still be learning anything from me?
The best evidence points to parents/family having a far greater impact than an early learning experience on children’s developmental outcomes.” And your children’s attachment to you is very important in the very young as aids children’s sense of security and comfort level according to the person’s responsiveness to their needs and most importantly because some of the important aspects of a child’s growth are affected by attachment quality.
What formal qualifications do early learning teachers need to have?
The educators in charge of an early learning service without parents present must be registered teachers who hold a Diploma in Teaching (ECE) or similar qualification. Other staff in the centre may have different qualifications or experience.