Making the decision to send your child to an early learning centre is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make as a parent. For whatever reason, whether it be returning to work, managing changing family circumstances or simply seeking additional learning opportunities for your child, you needn’t be alone in this journey. High quality centres are those which not only encourage a partnership approach to transition, but recognise that you are in fact your child’s first teacher and facilitate this process seamlessly.
These days early learning centres invests copious amounts of money at whiz bang marketing strategies to boost their enrolments. However, once you walk through that door, unless they ‘practice what they preach’ no amount of bells and whistles will sell you on the spot. So what does set one centre apart from the other?
To help you make the right decision, I’ve developed the criteria below, drawn from our approach at Paisley Park Early Learning Centres, to help you make the right choice.
– The people behind the brand. Operational decisions are driven from the top; therefore, the vision must come from a strong Early Childhood knowledge base
– The commitment to enrolling the whole family. Transition is more meaningful when there is a genuine care and respect for you as a family, celebrating your unique way of being
– The environment must communicate calm, warmth and home like atmosphere with aesthetics that appeal to all your senses; smell, touch, taste, sound and sight
– The Educators must be nurturing and confidently articulate their philosophy with an openness to share their career journey
– The approach to education and care is ‘holistic’ with a focus on supporting your child’s physical, social, emotional, spiritual, moral, intellectual development, in a way that compliments your family values.
Aside from the above, the most important thing to remember is to trust your own intuition. If the environment and the people within it respond to you and your child in a way that makes you feel comfortable, that should factor in your decision making.
Written by Kat Wieczorek-Ghisso, Founder, Paisley Park Early Learning Centres.