You asked

How can I tell if a crèche is bad?

Some crèches are fantastic and some are terrible; knowing what to look for is vital to your child’s safety and happiness.

Choosing a crèche is a very difficult decision that takes time and effort. Like any other business, there will be crèches that are questionable at best. Before you start looking, make sure you know how to spot the signs of a bad crèche.

Give yourself plenty of time. Start your search for a crèche at least six months before you need it. This way, you will not feel pressured to choose a crèche because you are simply running out of time.

Talking to other parents is a great way to start. Parents are usually more than happy to tell you their experiences and make recommendations.

A proper crèche will have set hours and rules in place. They should have a sick child policy and an emergency plan. If these are not in place, cross them off the list and keep looking.
If the crèche does not allow a parent to drop in unexpectedly, they probably have something to hide. Stay clear of any crèche that enforces this policy.

Ask all potential crèches what their philosophy is on discipline and choose one that is in line with your philosophy. It’s important that a child receive the same messages concerning discipline while they are at home and at a crèche.

Make sure that curriculum is organised. A good crèche will take the time to make sure that the activities are scheduled and the environment is stimulating.

Ask the crèche about their hiring practices. You need to know that the employees are caring and responsible.

A good crèche will be clean. Make sure you look around for signs of cleanliness. Check the bathrooms, kitchen, and nappy changing areas.

Look at the outdoor play area for safety hazards. If there is not an outdoor play area, make sure that the crèche has adequate space indoors for playtime.

Most importantly, once you have your list narrowed down to a few crèches take your child to visit. You will see right away if your child will be happy in the crèche. If not, keep looking.

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