Choosing a suitable creche or preschool
There are a few simple steps parents, guardians and carers can follow to help them choose the most suitable childcare for their child.
When considering a creche or preschool
- Arrange a visit - dropping in unannounced will help give you a sense of whether everything is as it should be. Mealtimes may be a good time to drop in, if possible, as you may then have an opportunity to check the standard of food which may be served to your child
- Ask for a copy of the creche's most recently-published inspection report
- Check the child-to-staff ratios and that each staff member is Garda Vetted. Also, ask about staff qualifications
- Talk to the creche manager or owner about their safety procedures. What procedures are in place should your child be injured or become ill? Is the room a safe and suitable environment for children?
- Talk to the creche about how they manage behaviour problems - does this fit with how you do this at home?
- The room your child would be cared for in should be a cheerful, safe, warm, light, room with a variety of good-quality play materials
- Talk to other parents whose children attend the preschool or creche to see if they have concerns or issues related to the care of their children
When your child is being cared for in a creche or preschool
- Ensure that staff are keeping clear records about your child's activities every day
- Observe your child in their room, checking that they are safe and happy. Ensure that you are happy with how staff interact with your child
- Observe how your child seems before they go to creche and when you pick them up. How do they respond to the staff? Your child will be able to tell you whether they are happy or not by their reaction and their mood