Best Childcare in Melbourne
There is more choice in childcare than ever before, and it can be hard to know which childcare centre is best for your family. So how do you know which is the best childcare in Melbourne?
When looking for the best childcare in Melbourne, there are a few key factors you should consider. There are practical things like location and proximity to work or home and the more emotional factors like how you feel when you walk into the centre.
Here we’ve created a list of the top factors to consider when looking for the best childcare centre in Melbourne.
Family Connections and Partnership
A close partnership with families allows the best childcare centres to offer a range of additional benefits to the learning and childcare experience. And great support mechanisms for families can make your life easier on a daily basis, such as:
- Designated drop off and pick up zones to assist with those busy mornings and afternoons.
- Casual care day bookings where possible to help you manage the unpredictable nature of balancing work life and home life.
- An app or something similar that allows you to stay updated with what your child is doing in the centre.
- Teams to support you with the latest government assistance programs and entitlements, – so you get the most from your Child Care Subsidy or other financial support measures which may be available.
- Providing your child with unexpected benefits such as exposure to a range of cultures and languages via diverse and multicultural educators. This gives children access to a range of languages at a time when they are most capable of learning.
This is when qualified Teachers and educators bring learning to life in fun-filled tangible ways. And the best childcare centres in Melbourne will do this. Often educators will use open-ended materials that help young minds grasp big concepts, and focus on learning through real-world experiences, projects and experiments. When a child is using open-ended materials, they are free to use their creativity and imagination. There is no right or wrong way, and no set end point to the play. A set of wooden blocks is a good example: One moment it’s a pirate ship sailing the high seas; the next moment a maze or puzzle to be solved. Open-ended resources inspire curiosity and support discovery – the building blocks for successful lifelong learning.
Nutrition and Wellbeing
We have dedicated cooks and chefs at many of our Centres who prepare nutritionally balanced meals each day. While many Centres offer something similar, what stands out is the key educational role our cooks play by interacting with our children. In our kitchens we teach children about what’s in their food and how to create it themselves. We also have vegetable and herb gardens where the children collect ingredients to add to their meals. This creates genuine real-world learning opportunities. It teaches children about where food comes from, how vegetables grow, how to harvest them and how to enjoy them. So look for a veggie garden in the Centre you’re considering, and ask about their menu because it is such an important part of a child’s development.
The Value of Community
As the saying goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”. Connections, communication and being an active part of the local community is something the best childcare centres in Melbourne are great at. This might take the form of:
- Venturing out into the local area on excursions that allow children to interact with the world around them. They’re also lots of fun! In Melbourne, there are so many incredible places to explore, and the best childcare centres in Melbourne will have rich excursion programs for the children.
- Visiting local amenities like the library, primary school and art gallery provide opportunities for children to form their identities and feel a part of a community.
- Hosting fundraising events provides rich and varied learning experiences that develop community-minded citizens.
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. Stimulating, engaging and highly sensory outdoor and indoor spaces encourage your child to make space their own and explore in their own unique way. They can build sandcastles and explore why wet sand and dry sand behave differently. They can bake and have conversations about why things go into the oven cold and wet and come out hot and dry. They can grow herbs and vegetables and learn about the natural world around them. Through play a child’s natural curiosity is sparked, inspiring them to ask questions and build their confidence.
Guardian has four Centres in and around the Melbourne CBD, and more than 40 throughout wider Melbourne. There are choices East, North, South and West – and with so many to choose from there is bound to be an option convenient for your child and family.
When considering the best childcare centres in Melbourne, make sure you also have a look at the experiences and extras offered by the centre. They can make the world of difference to your day and will mean an inspiring place for your child to spend their time.