Best Childcare in Adelaide
The best childcare choice for your family will always be the centre that makes you feel at home, and where your child feels safe, secure and loved – no matter their age.
Most long day childcare centres welcome children from six-weeks to six-years of age, so when making your choice, it’s important to consider how the centre caters to your child at those different ages.
A child’s brain develops faster in the first five years than at any other time in their life, so making a choice you’re comfortable with when it comes to childcare is a big decision. Whether your child is six weeks or six years old, the best childcare centres will support your child’s development in a variety of ways.
- Through Relationships: Secure, caring relationships, which help children form bonds and feel safe, are needed for all children, particularly infants. The best childcare in Adelaide will have Educators who spend time forming meaningful relationships with your child to build the social competencies and emotional security required for learning.
- Through Communication: Children communicate from the moment they are born. Talking, singing, reading, playful engagement and observing the world around them supports very young children to develop many language and pre-literacy skills.
- Through Experiences: Children need to be able to touch, see, smell, feel, taste and engage using their whole bodies to make sense of their surroundings. The best childcare centres will have a wide variety of materials and experiences available to enable children to build their own ‘library of knowledge.
- Through Creativity: The best childcare Educators support children to express their creativity. For infants, this may be seen through vocalisations and language, social interactions, visual arts, music and movement and engagement with purposeful and increasingly complex materials.
- Resource-Rich Environments. The best childcare centres are about more than just fancy environments – they focus on care and love and learning. But great environments and resources do make a difference to your child’s experience at daycare. Carefully curated environments inspire children to engage and encourage them to curiously explore and make space their own. The way resources are presented is key, as is what is on offer – both indoors and outdoors. Age-appropriate, open-ended resources that are placed to be accessible to the children will make for stimulating discussion and interactive play.
- Dramatic, Physical and Cooperative Play. The best childcare educators create learning environments that support both critical thinking and problem-solving skills by planning and providing opportunities for children to engage in role play activities. During dramatic, physical and cooperative play, children will demonstrate their learning – what they already know and what they are thinking or curious about.
- Relationships and Connections. Young children learn through relationships and connection with others and flourish when they feel valued and there’s a feeling of fairness.
- Language and Discussion. The best-earning environments are rich with language and promote effective communication. The best childcare in Adelaide will encourage your child to discuss, question, share their ideas, express their feelings and demonstrate respect for others, by taking time to listen and respond.
Leading up to formal schooling, the best childcare centres in Adelaide will have programs that help prepare your child for the transition.
A Preschool Program within the childcare setting is an incredible benefit. It means your child will be prepared for their move to primary school, while you get all the benefits of long day care hours and flexibility. The best childcare in Brisbane will have programs that incorporate academic, self-help and social preparation to help children get ready for their next exciting learning journey at school. They should focus on play-based experiences that:
- Teach the basic numeracy and literacy skills needed for academic success.
- Embed valuable social and emotional skills required to be confident and resilient.
- Have clear learning outcomes to prepare your child for formal schooling, and beyond.
Some of the most important elements of helping children to be ‘ready for school relate to ensuring that they are healthy and well-nourished, can make friends and sustain relationships, that they are confident and involved learners, that they ask a question, help someone out and pick themselves up when they are challenged. The best childcare centres in Adelaide will offer this, and more.
Age considerations aside, when looking at the best childcare in Adelaide for your child and your family, there are some other key practical things to consider as well.
- If your centre is conveniently located to your home or workplace your days will likely go a lot more smoothly. Drop-offs and pick-ups will be so much less stressful when you don’t have to factor in things like traffic that might make you late for a morning meeting. And knowing your child is nearby is reassuring and makes life easier if you need to factor in appointments during the day, or if your child falls ill and you need to get to him or her quickly.
- Convenience. Is there parking on-site to make drop off and pick up easier? Is there space to leave your pram during the day if you travel on foot? Is the centre close to public transport like buses, trains or trams? What are the hours of operation – this will also factor a lot into the convenience of the centre location.
- Inclusions. Does the centre provide most things your child will need throughout the day? Including nappies, meals, books, play resources? That way you’ll only need to pack a few things for your child’s day and it makes life a lot easier.
- Nutrition and Wellbeing. Does the centre provide fresh, nutritious meals? Mealtimes are a fantastic opportunity for children to experience new tastes and textures, and to gather socially. Plus, educating children about the importance of healthy eating and wellbeing is an important part of early childhood.
- Consistency. Does the centre work in collaboration with you to ensure your child’s routines – such as nap times – remain consistent from home to the centre? If your child is toilet training or learning to self-feed, does the centre take an interest and support this?
- Communication. Does the centre have family communication apps or platforms to keep you informed throughout the day with updates about your child?
- How you and your child feel. Sometimes it’s as simple as the feeling you get when you walk into a centre. It may not be the newest, brightest or shiniest setting, but there’s just something out the people that make you feel at home. The only way to know is to take a tour.
When considering the best childcare in Adelaide, make sure you consider all the factors – from the practical and convenience considerations, through to how you feel about the centre and the people who will be caring for your child.
Guardian has eight Centres in and around Adelaide. The locations include Flinders Street, Croydon Park, Daw Park, Coromandel Valley, Evandale, Export Park, Paradise, Seacombe Gardens and St Claire.